Microsoft Office on iPad?

Yes, it’s true, or so says the rumor, I’m still waiting for the rapture, but that’s another story entirely.  According to The Daily’s Matt Hickey in an article posted on November 29, 2011, and several articles and posts referring to his Matt’s post, Microsoft is working on a version of its popular Office suite for use on the iPad, as well as an updated version of Office for OS X Lion. If rumors are true, Microsoft would release the Mac version at the end of 2012 and the iPad version possibly sooner.

Although, Microsoft has several apps on iPhone and iPad, none would be as useful as MSOffice which have been missing from both devices since their releases.  Realistically, this is an untapped market for Microsoft which could bring huge amounts of additional revenue as MS Office has been the dominating office suite since it toppled WordPerfect. Remember them?  If Microsoft uses the same price point of $9.99 each as Apple does for its office suite for iPad, Keynote, Pages, and Numbers, then the software giant could realistically make a killing selling Word, Excel, and Publisher in Apple’s App store.

What does this actually mean? Well for business this puts the powerful MS Office suite on a device that is becoming more popular in offices, schools, and even on the road.  This lack of MS Office has either kept businesses from using the iPad or searching for expensive third-party apps that let you make changes to and save files such as Word or Excel. If Microsoft actually does release MS Office for iPad, this changes everything.  Businesses running a Windows Enterprise environment will have the added power and portability that the iPad tablet offers with the combined productivity and functionality MS Office gives. This could truly be a marriage made in heaven as businesses begin to adopt this technology combination strategy.

Strangely enough, putting MS Office on the iPad could help save Microsoft, especially if Windows 8 fails to perform as hoped.  MS Office has traditionally been Microsoft’s bread winner with the Windows operating system pulling in second in their revenue. Not that Microsoft will fall apart, but a Windows 8 fail could definitely hurt them.  Adding MS Office to the iPad and iPhone would surely raise their revenue.

As a writer and blogger, and for personal use, this would raise my productivity tenfold.  Generally, I’m sitting down at my desktop (yes, I still have one,) or using my laptop, which has become a clumsy big device that I no longer want to carry around anymore.  I love the portability of the iPad and its simplistic ease of use but it’s not efficient to write with.  When I do write on my iPad, each article must be written on a third-party app, transferred via Dropbox, copied into a Word file, proofed, then saved and posted.  Using MS Word and saving directly to my SkyDrive would certainly streamline things a bit.

I’m hoping this rumor is true.  I could see the benefits businesses and personal users would gain from having MS Office on their iPads.  What’s you take on it? Do you use Microsoft Office?  Would you purchase the iPad version?

View Matt Hickey’s article: http://www.thedaily.com/page/2011/11/29/112911-tech-news-ms-ipad/

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