April 3, 2014
Apple purists may not know what to think, but the legions of consumers who are caught between a Mac and PC world are rejoicing. Microsoft Office will soon be available on the iPad.
Ronn Torossian, CEO of 5WPR, said this is tremendous PR news for both Apple and Microsoft.
This trend reverses a line in the sand that Microsoft drew when it began marketing its own handheld mobile devices a few years back. Office has been available for Mac desktop and laptop OS-es for years now, but it looked like the software might never be available for iPad users.
Then, Satya Nadella held his first ever product unveiling as CEO of Microsoft. While many were struck by Nadella’s rapid-fire cadence and kinetic presentation, it was the product he unveiled that drew the most response. It may just be the biggest announcement from Microsoft since the XBOX1, or the Windows phone…the long rumored, and long-delayed, Office for iPad.
The devil is officially buying a snowboard. Microsoft product manager Julia White blew minds even further by announcing that, “The iPad has a reputation for helping you look cool. With Excel, it can make you look smart, too.”That line was both a backhanded compliment and admission that Microsoft has never, and likely will never, attain the “cool” status of any Mac product.
But, knowing who you are, and what your brand represents, is part of effective PR. No one in that crowd would ever argue that PCs were for the “cool kids.” But those smiles on the faces of Microsoft reps reveal that they believe they will get the last laugh. They envision a world where iPad users, familiar with Office software at work or on their laptops, will opt for the Windows product over the made for Mac word processing and database software.
Early tests have proclaimed that the iPad Office suite looks even better than the desktop or laptop versions. Time will tell if the app actually catches on, but in the meantime, Microsoft once again has the opportunity to enjoy being the darling of the technology consumer market…even if the buzz only lasts until the next iPhone is released.