samedi 29 mars 2014

So Microsoft is delivering Office on iPad. Pretty cool! But what is behind?

This was a rumour for a long time now, but Microsoft finally did it and this is not a little announce that Satya Naddala, new Microsoft CEO did there. Office is now available on iPad. And for free... or almost.

Office or Office 365 by the way?

My first reaction was "what does MS want to do on iPad" as they are doing so much effort on the other side to promote their mobile platform through Windows 8. I see two objectives there:
  1. Apple is losing more and more market shares this last months, facing Androïd aggressive strategy. Nevertheless, iPad is still a credible mobile device in business market on which it address executives and commercial population. In a strategy consisting to still being a market leader in business market, this does have a sense for Microsoft to provide tools continuity between desktop tools and mobile ones on its leading suite. Helping Apple to keep its leader position in this market today is another way to avoid facing a potential massive Androïd competitor in the next year. This is not the first time that Microsoft deploy such a strategy with Apple, for those who remember 1997's Apple keynote.
  2. Here, Microsoft does not promote iPad, nor even Office. If you read the little lines at the bottom of the contract, you'll see that free provided features are read-only ones. For a complete set of features, you have to buy an Office 365 license, which clearly echoes on the recent Microsoft strategy to target the cloud market that I recently observed during the french MS TechDays. What a big stone in iCloud garden by the way... and a clear response to Apple to provide a continuous suite between MacOS and iOS.
There may be several other reason for which deploying MS Office on iPad would not be a strategic mistake from Microsoft. But these two first ones seems sufficient for me. Microsoft strategy is now clearly heading cloud services and mobile devices are only one way among others to access these services. As a major actor in business market, Apple is a mandatory partner and competitor on it.

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