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Microsoft Office Finally Gets iOS App

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the not-exactly-peanut-butter-and-jelly dept.

Microsoft 139

An anonymous reader writes "After years of rumors and months of bickering with Apple over revenue splits, Microsoft has finally released an official iOS app for Office 365 subscribers, allowing people to use Word, Excel and PowerPoint on their iPhones and iPads. According to a hands-on report with the software, the Office app has basic functionality, but is missing some key productivity features. 'These include: font options, text alignment, bulleted lists and, again, more color choices, all of which you can find in, say, the Google Drive app.' They say it's a fairly useful addition for current subscribers, but certainly not enough to make it worth the Office 365 subscription fee on its own. 'We can't tell if Microsoft deliberately handicapped Office Mobile for iPhone, or if it's simply saving some features for a later update. (A company rep declined to comment on what we can expect from future versions.) We're willing to believe Microsoft still has some unfinished items on its to-do list, but even so, it's a shame that iPhone users waited this long for an Office app, only to get something with such a minimal feature set. All told, Office Mobile represents a good enough start for Microsoft, and in some ways it's better than Google Drive, particularly where spreadsheets are concerned. Still, it's miles behind other office apps for iOS, including Apple iWork.'"

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terminal server (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44005883)

thats why bill gates invented terminal server

Re:terminal server (1, Offtopic)

GoogleShill (2732413) | about a year ago | (#44006069)

Hah, you must mean Citrix, right?

Not that it was "invented" by either of them, but Citrix added terminal server capabilities to NT 3.51, then Microsoft screwed them by putting in their own "terminal server" into NT 4.0, giving Citrix only the small market that needed extremely low bandwidth.

Re:terminal server (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44006165)

You do know that initially Microsoft licensed some components from Citrix initially until they wrote all of the parts needed for Terminal Server to stand on its own?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remote_Desktop_Protocol#Version_4.0 [wikipedia.org]

So it's not like Citrix didn't get some money out of MS at first.

No iPad app (0)

mystikkman (1487801) | about a year ago | (#44005893)

Microsoft has finally released an official iOS app for Office 365 subscribers, allowing people to use Word, Excel and PowerPoint on their iPhones and iPads.

There's no iPad app so that MS doesn't have to Apple 30% for every purchase for full featured Office.
Also so that they can run ads like these:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86JMcy5OqZA#ysav [youtube.com]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-UGxKX6IU1U [youtube.com]

Re:No iPad app (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44006201)

They could easily release an iPad app without paying Apple the 30% - they just make the app require an Office 365 account. Done. Sign up for the account online, go back to the app, done.

They only have to pay Apple the 30% _IF_ users can sign up for the account _IN_ the app. If they do so via a web browser, on their own, it allows the developer to avoid the 30% cut to Apple.

Please do try to understand how the process works before offering your opinion on it.

Re:No iPad app (1)

hsmith (818216) | about a year ago | (#44006443)

From my understanding signing up within the App isn't an issue as well. The question is, can the user use the App at all without paying?

I have a mobile App that has our own private "cloud" storage. The user can use the App to their hearts desire. But, if they want our "cloud" they must subscribe via our Web portal.

But, if they don't care about that - they can use the App indefinitely. I don't think there is a steadfast rule to it, all Apple seems to care about is if the App can be used (functional). Where, Netflix as an example fails at that end, because you can't use the App without having a paid Netflix account.

Re:No iPad app (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about a year ago | (#44007335)

The question is, can the user use the App at all without paying?

That's up to the App developer isn't it? Here are the ways Apple will take their cut: 1) 30% of price of app and 2) 30% of subscriptions generated within app. If MS charges nothing for the app and if all subscriptions are created externally (through microsoft.com), Apple can't charge.

Re:No iPad app (1)

samkass (174571) | about a year ago | (#44007545)

The question is, can the user use the App at all without paying?

That's up to the App developer isn't it? Here are the ways Apple will take their cut: 1) 30% of price of app and 2) 30% of subscriptions generated within app. If MS charges nothing for the app and if all subscriptions are created externally (through microsoft.com), Apple can't charge.

But they can reject the app. If you're listing a "free" app that doesn't do anything (without a separate paid subscription) you will be rejected for having a useless app.

Re:No iPad app (2)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about a year ago | (#44007781)

What? That sounds ludicrous. Do you have actual examples of this or are you listing hypothetical that may or may not have happened?

Re:No iPad app (1)

Karlt1 (231423) | about a year ago | (#44008241)

But they can reject the app. If you're listing a "free" app that doesn't do anything (without a separate paid subscription) you will be rejected for having a useless app.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/netflix/id363590051?mt=8 [apple.com]
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/hulu-plus/id376510438?mt=8 [apple.com]

Re:No iPad app (0)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | about a year ago | (#44006491)

So basically, the market penetration on this will be zero, because Office 365

Re:No iPad app (0)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | about a year ago | (#44006501)

(Yao Ming laughing face meme)

Re:No iPad app (0)

mystikkman (1487801) | about a year ago | (#44006931)

Go back to reddit or 4chan where 12 year olds hang out and such lame image macro memes prevail and leave Slashdot for the adults.

Re:No iPad app (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44008027)

Where is this adult section of Slashdot? I've never seen one.

Re:No iPad app (4, Informative)

mystikkman (1487801) | about a year ago | (#44006929)

So basically, the market penetration on this will be zero, because Office 365

Meanwhile, in reality: One million subscriptions in 3.5 months.

Re:No iPad app (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44007591)

Possibly, though Microsoft has considerable experience at penetrating their market from behind.

Re:No iPad app (3, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | about a year ago | (#44006423)

I don't get this. When I buy a copy of MS Office at Best Buy, they get a little cut, and so does the supplier that Best Buy purchases from. I'm not sure what the usual split is between Microsoft, the supplier and the retailer, but I'm sure it's not that far off from 30%. I don't see why it should work any different if I set up a software store that only sells licenses and not disks.

Re:No iPad app (1)

phobos512 (766371) | about a year ago | (#44006611)

Pretty sure MS makes their money when Best Buy gets the product from them (also not sure that there's a middle-man supplier to Best Buy but if there is, wow is that crappy supply chain management).

Re:No iPad app (1)

hsmith (818216) | about a year ago | (#44006799)

People like to complain. The whole sale price of Office to Best Buy or the like is more than a 30% discount from what Best Buy sells it at.

Re:No iPad app (1)

recoiledsnake (879048) | about a year ago | (#44007503)

But there are a lot of retailers and etailers and there's competition around their margin.. You can buy Office at Staples, Office Depot, Walmart, Fry's, Microcenter or buy it online from a whole ton of places. With Apple, every consumer is chained only to the app store.

Re:No iPad app (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#44007539)

I don't get this. When I buy a copy of MS Office at Best Buy, they get a little cut, and so does the supplier that Best Buy purchases from. I'm not sure what the usual split is between Microsoft, the supplier and the retailer, but I'm sure it's not that far off from 30%. I don't see why it should work any different if I set up a software store that only sells licenses and not disks.

because it's 30% that goes to a player that is only relevant in the transaction because they made it so that you couldn't install sw without them?

that's what ms was/is aiming for with metro as well. in low value sw it doesn't matter as much, but buy a photoshop and then have the thought that "hmm, I just paid the price of the machine I'm using this sw on to the machine manufacturer just to run some sw from a 3rd party on this" and you might be a little peeved about it.

really the point is that the only one and only official appstore scenario is one where there is no possible competition by retailers and is going to be more expensive than buying direct(the higher the cost the more screwed the consumer is as the transaction costs are fixed but the tax from the sw market depends on the price).

Another nail in the PC coffin (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44005919)

....allowing people to use Word, Excel and PowerPoint on their iPhones and iPads.

Now, that's really going to hurt PC sales.

Yeah, there will be some desktops for the cubicle drones who need to crunch the quarterly numbers, type the letters and briefs, etc .... but for the folks who are running the place and the rainmakers, this is great.

Oh! And we're going to see laptops get hit too now.

I have a bunch of entrepreneurs, doctors, and executive types in my family. There was one Macbook Air and the rest were iPads. An iPad does 99% of that they need.

Desktops and laptops for the worker bees - iPads for the bosses.

Re:Another nail in the PC coffin (4, Informative)

somersault (912633) | about a year ago | (#44006103)

In case you haven'y noticed, worker bees vastly outnumber "bosses". I rarely take my laptop home these days, but my tablet is also redundant for me personally at work.

Having said that, I bought a couple of tablets for some of our "worker bees" out in the workshop. They use them for an app I wrote that lets them receive new machining tasks, and give live updates on production status from out on the floor. So tablets aren't just useful for PHBs and layabouts.

Re:Another nail in the PC coffin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44006153)

So, in your world the majority of people are bosses (how else could this matter in any serious way)? In my world, the majority of people are the worker bees. And they all still require a normal keyboard, mouse and a screen. And they will have desktops/laptops.

Battery life (1)

Saint Gerbil (1155665) | about a year ago | (#44006455)

...and the bosses switch back to their PC at lunch while the iPad recharges.

Since it would need to have most of the battery draining options on (like wifi).

Re:Another nail in the PC coffin (2)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | about a year ago | (#44006509)

Nobody wants to manipulate long professional Word documents or do heavy Excel work with an iPad.

Re:Another nail in the PC coffin (0)

The Cat (19816) | about a year ago | (#44007619)

Most bosses are retarded incompetents. Give them the toys. Leave the real computers for people who do real work.

Core Functionality .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44005923)

"or if it's simply saving some features for a later update"

Yeah, lets save bullet points for version 2, and by version 10 we'll give them some fonts to pick.
Features and core functions..?

Re:Core Functionality .. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44006167)

I guess they're following Apple's "copy and paste" feature-set philosophy.

What? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44005973)

> missing some key productivity features. 'These include: font options, text alignment, bulleted lists

Is it a joke?

Re:What? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44006021)

Yeah, sounds like they ported Notepad to iOS :-)

PRISM Sept 2007 (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44005991)

Microsoft signed up to PRISM in 2007 which gives the military access to stored data. Office 365 is their ONLINE product where your data is kept online on their servers under US jurisdiction. That gives the US military access to your commercial private data.

Go read up on the commercial spying scandals involving Echelon, and you'll see why you cannot permit your companies documents, or even your own private documents into US cloud services.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/us-intelligence-mining-data-from-nine-us-internet-companies-in-broad-secret-program/2013/06/06/3a0c0da8-cebf-11e2-8845-d970ccb04497_story_3.html

"There has been “continued exponential growth in tasking to Facebook and Skype,” according to the PRISM slides. With a few clicks and an affirmation that the subject is believed to be engaged in terrorism, espionage or nuclear proliferation, an analyst obtains full access to Facebook’s “extensive search and surveillance capabilities against the variety of online social networking services.”

According to a separate “User’s Guide for PRISM Skype Collection,” that service can be monitored for audio when one end of the call is a conventional telephone and for any combination of “audio, video, chat, and file transfers” when Skype users connect by computer alone. Google’s offerings include Gmail, voice and video chat, Google Drive files, photo libraries, and live surveillance of search terms."

Re:PRISM Sept 2007 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44007119)

Why is this off topic?

A company offers a product and it is insecure. Sweden has prohibited government organizations from using Google Docs (and possibly any other cloud storage and service). This specific product saves the documents on cloud and therefore it can be discussed here,

Because the NSA has mod points (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44007391)

Because the NSA is full of techies pumped full of propaganda, and Microsoft can't face up to NSA problems. So here we are, pretending that a system that stores your documents in an NSA locker is somehow usable for any business!

If you can't secure Office 365 from NSA snooping, and you are a foreign power, and NSA has in the past done commercial surveillance, then you cannot use Office 365 because you would be handing your secrets to the NSA who will hand them to your competitors. Sad, but that's the world we are faced with.

Even if you are an American company, are you the one the NSA favors? No? Sorry, but your secrets are just as likely to be stolen.

We work for the military dictator now. Be nice, they shoot people.

Irrelevant (0)

geirlk (171706) | about a year ago | (#44006035)

There's an Irrelephant in the room.

what a waste of time (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year ago | (#44006057)

You can barely type on most tablets. Why make a typing program (Word)? Then you can't use it unless you're a 365 subscriber, which only people who can't do math are. Then you can't even do basic formatting that an RTF editor would let you do. Wow. Maybe this is MS secretly trying to convince people tablets are actually NOT computer replacements and Windows 9 won't be touch-friendly or ridiculously laid out. Well, I can dream at least.

Re:what a waste of time (1, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#44006067)

You can barely type on most tablets.

You can connect a bluetooth keyboard to most tablets. I ignored the remainder of your comment because it was therefore irrelevant.

Re:what a waste of time (1)

radiumsoup (741987) | about a year ago | (#44006171)

you should have read the rest - not all of it had to do with the keyboard, and it had some thoughtful points you may have found relevant.

Book, cover, judging, etc.

Re:what a waste of time (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#44006379)

you should have read the rest - not all of it had to do with the keyboard, and it had some thoughtful points you may have found relevant.

What are the odds that someone who is so anti-tablet that they blocked out the fact that you can connect a bluetooth keyboard to one will have anything thoughtful or relevant to say about them? Absolutely nil.

Re:what a waste of time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44006879)

You doth protest too much, methinks. You refuse to read another post because the author jumped to a conclusion with weak evidence, and then jump to your own conclusions?

Re:what a waste of time (2)

The Cat (19816) | about a year ago | (#44007641)

If you connect a keyboard to it, its a shitty PC. Why not use a real PC?

Re:what a waste of time (1)

phobos512 (766371) | about a year ago | (#44006667)

I can type just fine on my iPad...Maybe because for a while I used one of those 10" netbooks so I'm used to typing on a smaller device? Yes, the lack of tactile feedback can be difficult to deal with at first but you get used to it. The only problem I run into is that sometimes I hit M instead of the spacebar. But that's easy enough to deal with with autocorrect/spell-check.

Re:what a waste of time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44007425)

All you're really saying here is that _you_ can't type on a tablet.

Re:what a waste of time (0)

The Cat (19816) | about a year ago | (#44007717)

I prefer to type on a tool designed for typing: a keyboard.

A screen is designed to display information. Not as a typing device.

But that won't stop the retards who make mobile apps from trying to make everyone believe that a touch screen is superior to a keyboard. All it does is prove they are so busy jacking off to their mobile devices they never bothered to learn the concept of the right tool for the job.

I guess PowerPoint... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44006065)

...IS one of those things after all.

Re: I guess PowerPoint... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44006131)

I wonder. Microsoft announces this a few weeks after launching a snarky add campaign about how iPads can't (among other things) use Windows apps.

Now they draw a big circle around the reason for that was that it was possible all along, but MICROSOFT hadn't chosen to release an app.

And now they CAN run those apps.

Makes them look twice silly. Don't snark and then undercut yourself.

Does Microsoft's advertising group even talk up their tech group?

I don't get it... (4, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year ago | (#44006071)

People are going to compose documents, spreadsheets, etc. on a tablet??

Maybe I need more coffee, can someone explain why anyone would want this?

Re:I don't get it... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44006231)

People are going to compose documents, spreadsheets, etc. on a tablet??

No, not really.

Maybe I need more coffee, can someone explain why anyone would want this?

People want to be able to *edit* them on a tablet (last minute crap, corrections, etc). I'm hoping it's only minor edits. Of course, with the lack of proper font, alignment, bullet point and color support it may do more damage to an existing document than help it ;-)

Tablets are generally a consumption device. Some users can use them to create content, especially when used with a keyboard, but they are by far the exceptions.

Re: I don't get it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44006313)

Don't confuse your use of tablets as "mostly a consumption device" with the fact that vast numbers of people use them to compose documents. They have a weight and size advantage, and typing (even without a Bluetooth keyboard) can be quite easy to do.

Re: I don't get it... (2)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | about a year ago | (#44006561)

I have to agree with this.

Tablets and phones are a docking station away from being full fledged computers to do work on. My Galaxy Note II is more powerful that the computer I had 10 years ago for gaming, less the video card. With something like Ubuntu for Andriod, or if MS didn't F up Windows 8 so bad, I could just drop it into a docking station at home or pick it up and take it to work and have a fully usable computer with a keyboard, mouse, LAN connection and multiple monitors, with the added bonus that while traveling or at sea I could use a tablet interface for minor editing, simple bug fixes when I have an wifi connection available or playing casual games in between.

Re: I don't get it... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#44007877)

Tablets and phones are a docking station away from being full fledged computers to do work on.

Or, as gets pointed out every time this comes up ... a $20 Bluetooth keyboard, and the case you already probably have which props it up. Pretty much every major tablet will support Bluetooth keyboards

I've actually found with my case which props it to a decent angle, I can type fairly ok -- I wouldn't want to do my primary work on it, but it's not nearly as defective of a platform as some people seem to think. Once it's in that position, I'm essentially touch typing again, albeit a little slower.

But I can type emails on my tablet pretty effectively. The biggest utility (for me) of a tablet is those times when you don't want to be sitting at a traditional desk/chair combo and when travelling.

It's far easier to bring a lightweight device and get access to what I need than to drag my entire laptop -- and a tablet doesn't need to get taken out of your carry-on at the airport. My last several business trips I didn't even use my laptop, but my tablet got used several hours every evening.

So far I haven't felt the need to buy a Bluletooth keyboard, but if I wanted one, they're easy enough to get.

Re: I don't get it... (1)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | about a year ago | (#44008201)

Yep, I agree. I just brought up the docking station, because then I'd have the whole development environment setup (mostly for the dual monitors) at the places I primarily do my hardcore development (Home and work). But a Bluetooth keyboard would be sufficient in a pinch where I might be in a hotel room. It'd be really hard to make that work on a ship at sea, too much rocking. There are tethers for chairs in the galley, my last trip out I saw a guy (and his supper) slide clear across the room, chair and all, because he didn't tie himself off. So I doubt propping up a tablet would work. Like you said though using it as a straight tablet at that point would be fine. It's not always that bad at sea, but where there's a storm or really high waves, the fewer things you need to catch when the ship rolls the better. You often need at least one hand to hold on to something.

Re: I don't get it... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#44008267)

LOL ... and this is why I like to stay on dry land, despite growing up near the ocean.

Too much spilling of 'yer drinks (or lunch).

Re:I don't get it... (2)

jittles (1613415) | about a year ago | (#44007123)

People are going to compose documents, spreadsheets, etc. on a tablet??

No, not really.

Maybe I need more coffee, can someone explain why anyone would want this?

People want to be able to *edit* them on a tablet (last minute crap, corrections, etc). I'm hoping it's only minor edits. Of course, with the lack of proper font, alignment, bullet point and color support it may do more damage to an existing document than help it ;-)

Tablets are generally a consumption device. Some users can use them to create content, especially when used with a keyboard, but they are by far the exceptions.

I think my tablet + keyboard is great for generating content while traveling. The tablet goes on the tray table, the keyboard on my lap and all of the sudden I have room. I'm kind of a tall person, so its very hard for me to use a laptop on an airplane. I've reviewed, created, and edited documents while traveling. I've also used it to even write out some code. It just depends on what I need to do and how long I'll be traveling for.

Re:I don't get it... (0)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44006375)

Because I don't want to carry a laptop to have a shopping list that syncs between multiple people.

I use google docs for that sort of thing all the time, when I am out and about. Instructions for tasks are another kind I frequently do.

Re:I don't get it... (4, Informative)

c (8461) | about a year ago | (#44006437)

People are going to compose documents, spreadsheets, etc. on a tablet??

Maybe I need more coffee, can someone explain why anyone would want this?

Compose, no. Edit and update, yes.

Done right, it's actually a crazy powerful workflow.

Here's a trivial example... I do agility training with my dogs. I keep a spreadsheet of skills for each that I need to work on and add a check mark whenever I touch on that skill. I built it on my desktop using Google Drive, and keep a synced, offline version on my phone. Which means I can reference it and add that check mark when I'm actually training, or add a new skill to the list when I'm at class.

Now, is a spreadsheet the right tool for this sort of thing? Maybe a dedicated Android app would be better, but Google Drive is available on every device I care to use.

Obviously I'm assuming that this workflow is viable with whatever toolset Microsoft is offering. I have doubts that they could screw up something so simple, but lately I'm been amazed by their ability to do things exactly the least useful way.

Re:I don't get it... (2)

MasterOfGoingFaster (922862) | about a year ago | (#44006497)

People are going to compose documents, spreadsheets, etc. on a tablet??

Maybe I need more coffee, can someone explain why anyone would want this?

Sure - it's for editing existing documents that need polishing.

The use case is you are on your way to visit a client after an all-nighter. You spot a few issues that need editing, and this product has just enough functionality to let you do that. Or you're at lunch and realize a better way to say something. Whip out your phone and edit the doc.

Re:I don't get it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44006517)

Has the concepts of The Cloud(tm) really eluded you so easily? It's not about the heavy lifting, it's about reviewing and minor edits.
 
And yes, I do use Apple's Numbers on my tablet and phone and it works well for what I'm using it for.

Re:I don't get it... (1)

Inda (580031) | about a year ago | (#44006527)

So, on my laptop, I composed a Gsheet that detailed my crosstrainer exercise routines. Time spent, calories burned, my weight in kg, etc. A couple of graphs and some conditional formatting. I was playing with the functionality more than anything else. Gsheet looked promising.

You're going to hate this, but I'm still using that same sheet today. I fill in the data, not on a tablet, but on my Samsung S2. It's perfect. I get off the crosstrainer, pick up my S2 (which has been sending music to my bluetooth speaker), tap the shortcut and enter data in half a dozen cells.

Can you see a better method?

Have some more coffee. It's good for you.

Welcome to the future (1)

sjbe (173966) | about a year ago | (#44006867)

People are going to compose documents, spreadsheets, etc. on a tablet??

Why not? Attach a keyboard if needed. Just because you don't do it now doesn't mean it can't do a perfectly acceptable job given appropriate software.

Maybe I need more coffee, can someone explain why anyone would want this?

Because a tablet is underneath basically exactly the same thing as a laptop, just with an interface optimized in a different way. There is no fundamental reason why you can't attach a keyboard to a tablet and do word processing on it. A tablet certainly has sufficient CPU power for that task. As long as the software is designed with the tablet interface in mind it should work fine. In fact I'm confident (bordering on certain) that tablets will converge with what we now call a laptop over the next few years. Windows 8 is essentially an effort to do just this and Apple and Google are working towards merging the two.

Re:I don't get it... (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | about a year ago | (#44007799)

I think it depends. We've been using Keynote on the iPad for over a year now. Keynote works well enough for our purposes and most of our field people are carrying iPads instead of Laptops.

Usually they aren't the ones creating the presentations. While it's not always ideal to work on, it's can be extremely handy if you need to make last minute tweaks to a presentation. It works extremely well for that.

Still, given the choice, most of our people would prefer powerpoint over Keynote. We've been experimenting with Office365 & SkyDrive in the office and so far their only wish has been, "If only I could make edits to a presentation on the iPad". Which you could sort of with Office365. We looked into the Surface, but the RT sucked and the Pro's are so expensive you might as well buy an ultrabook.

Re:I don't get it... (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year ago | (#44008219)

People are going to compose documents, spreadsheets, etc. on a tablet??

Maybe I need more coffee, can someone explain why anyone would want this?

Not compose, but edit and update. Perhaps you're on your way to give a presentation, and you're reviewing it on your tablet (it's only consumption, no need to dig out the laptop). But you spot an error - a typo maybe. So you can quickly go and fix the error when you spot it, rather than dig out the laptop, fire it up, fix the error (while juggling the laptop).

Basically, you're reviewing documents and the best way is in "consumption" mode - carrying a tablet or looking at it on your phone while you're out at lunch or waiting seems better than lugging your laptop everywhere. And you can use it to fix simple errors, or possibly highlight areas that need fixing but can't be done immediately for whatever reason.

Great work! (1)

gweihir (88907) | about a year ago | (#44006095)

So finally iOS users can get the free cloud backup via the NSA that Office365 users enjoy!

Come on MS (5, Insightful)

readingaccount (2909349) | about a year ago | (#44006121)

No iPad support, which is arguably the largest use case scenario.
You have to subscribe to Office 365.
You can't just buy it in the app store.

I honestly can't come up with a way they could have fucked this up any more. Once again MS snatches defeat from the jaws of victory.

Re:Come on MS (3, Funny)

LordThyGod (1465887) | about a year ago | (#44006251)

No iPad support, which is arguably the largest use case scenario. You have to subscribe to Office 365. You can't just buy it in the app store.

I honestly can't come up with a way they could have fucked this up any more. Once again MS snatches defeat from the jaws of victory.

Its kind of good sport to watch them shoot themselves in the foot over and over again. One of the wonders of the known universe is they still manage to turn a profit. Its a strange world sometimes.

Re:Come on MS (1)

timeOday (582209) | about a year ago | (#44006619)

You can say that without it even crossing your mind that maybe they know something you don't?

Re:Come on MS (1)

LordThyGod (1465887) | about a year ago | (#44006753)

You can say that without it even crossing your mind that maybe they know something you don't?

Besides how to create monopolies and not pay a real price for it? They were really good at the whole "embrace, extend, extinguish" thing when they needed to, and they got away with it. Impressively so. But now that they've lost that tool, they seem to spend most their time shitting in their own nest. High quality shit, but shit nonetheless.

Re:Come on MS (1)

mystikkman (1487801) | about a year ago | (#44007009)

Besides how to create monopolies...

You think that's easy?

Any business's primary goal is to take all the addressable market and would DIE to do that.

Anyone can start a lemonade stand, but being the only one to sell lemonade in the town, now that's hell of a lot harder.

Re:Come on MS (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a year ago | (#44006595)

Ah well, there's always Quickoffice.

Re:Come on MS (5, Insightful)

homsar (2461440) | about a year ago | (#44006873)

If they put it on iPad they lose their main "advantage" of Windows tablets over iPads—that they run Office.

Re:Come on MS (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#44008231)

they actually can't get a full office for that kind ui. probably because they can't agree on what would be good.

hence you have "desktop" on windows rt just for running it.

hence, no metro excel. hence, metro sucks.

The enemy of my enemy... (4, Interesting)

Bearhouse (1034238) | about a year ago | (#44006127)

No thanks; I'll carry on using (free) Google docs plus the Apple apps I already purchased, (for les than the monthly cost of Ofice360) for those very rare occassions that I want to edit 'office' docs on my iDevices.

Follows announcement that search engine for Siri will go from Google to Bing.

http://tech2.in.com/news/ios/apple-ditches-google-partners-with-bing-for-siri-search/876324 [in.com]

Re:The enemy of my enemy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44006505)

Follows announcement that search engine for Siri will go from Google to Bing

Thank you. It's time to trade my phone (Droid Charge) and I was actually considering and iPhone. You saved me. Siri could never compare as a feature to the value of the swype keyboard in daily use. Voice based Google search has the same practical value as Siri. Although not as cute, it gets the job done. On the other hand, there's nothing like swype on the iOS at all and it makes text input a breeze. I can actually send a longer text using full English language in half the time it takes to send a pseudo leet burst message on the iPhone. And Bing flat out sucks..

Re:The enemy of my enemy... (2)

PerfectionLost (1004287) | about a year ago | (#44006615)

I kind of wish they went with Ask Jeeves instead.

i cant imagine its productive on many levels (2)

nimbius (983462) | about a year ago | (#44006149)

checking office docs on a phone seems prohibitive regardless of OS. Microsoft has for roughly a decade tried to "phone" as best it can and shouldnt have any incentive to participate in developing its killer app for iDevices at all. perhaps we're 'embracing' here for the sake of the game? that had we not offered anything at all, Apple would simply have thrown developers at the problem or worse, market share for office365 would have taken a hit. It also prevents C-Level iphone users from getting so angry over the absence as to say "screw it, we use a standard that works with any phone now"

i get the point from MS: if you need something to get windows work done, specifically Microsoft Office or Sharepoint, it might well be worth your while to look into a microsoft phone instead. Its vastly cheaper than an iPhone and while not as "cool" its still more effective than the ported app for any other platform.

Re:i cant imagine its productive on many levels (1)

ledow (319597) | about a year ago | (#44006303)

This has been going on for decades. Is this any different to even, say, Windows CE office apps?

MS has a market which it's tried to (or said it's tried to) break out of several times. Hell, it took since Windows XP Tablet Edition for everyone to say "Yeah, that's usable on a tablet now", by which time so many other competitors came and went in the same area that MS are still the outsider. It doesn't really care about / has no clue how to handle other platforms.

It likes Office on desktop because it sells Office and Windows licences. "The Cloud" messed it up for them a bit but now they can sell Office 365 on Windows. Anything outside that remit? Forget it. It's not "real" Windows and they won't dedicate to it (and if you ever see something like the OOXML standards, you'll learn why - they basically created this mess for themselves, deliberately or not).

Office on ANYTHING else is secondary and unimportant and only exists to get some cash and will never be the mainstream product. Hell, I wouldn't even chance my arm on Office 365 on Linux or Mac personally, let alone phones.

Microsoft has one core base that makes it money. Even their consoles have to confirm to that base, basically, because that's the nature of their business. Lip service is sometimes paid to other things but they rarely follow through.

Windows RT on ARM
Windows CE on whatever.
Even mainstream Windows on other architectures died a death.

It's all there. They've had decades of experience on it. They could make just about anything work with enough effort. They were pushing for tablets decades before people were even exposed to usable tablets. But they are only really interested in working on x86-compatibles with all the functionality they can get on them, so they can sell Windows, sell Office and lock you in.

Re:i cant imagine its productive on many levels (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#44007585)

well it's just for checking stuff, mainly.

it's a complimentary offer to the office juggernaut.. not a product that would stand on it's own. it's just something they "have to have".

As predicted deliberate crippleware crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44006243)

Deliberate crippleware to boost sales of WP8, WinRT and Pro tablets. Now the same piece of junkware will be brought out for Android.
Not that the feature set of fonts and bullets and other things that users expect is important LOL no doubt key functions will also not work in excel either. Wonder what the lame MS apologists will be saying about why Microshaft is releasing crippleware. Not as if one could not see this coming!

Bigger question is, what is up with MS Marketing? (1)

hsmith (818216) | about a year ago | (#44006263)

A few weeks ago Microsoft released an ad on TV comparing the iPad and the Surface. One "selling point" was the iPad lacks Office. (I mean, bashing a competitor because you didn't port your software to their platform of all things?)

Then, Microsoft releases Office for iOS? Such disorganization.

Re:Bigger question is, what is up with MS Marketin (0)

recoiledsnake (879048) | about a year ago | (#44007029)

A few weeks ago Microsoft released an ad on TV comparing the iPad and the Surface. One "selling point" was the iPad lacks Office. (I mean, bashing a competitor because you didn't port your software to their platform of all things?)

Then, Microsoft releases Office for iOS? Such disorganization.

There is no Office for iPad.
Atleast read the post titles of the top two posts before rushing to post your two cents you think are worth millions.
http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3865737&cid=44005893 [slashdot.org]

As usual it's typical summary fail.

One "selling point" was the iPad lacks Office. (I mean, bashing a competitor because you didn't port your software to their platform of all things?)

Also, read the part of the summary where it says Apple's forced 30% cut was keeping Office for iPad on hold, so Apple deserves part of the blame for that and the ad is justified in flaunting Office on Windows RT and Windows 8.

Another difference is that you can plug in a mouse to Windows RT/8 and a proper keyboard, so it makes sense to have the full Office run on it, unlike the crippled iPad.

Re:Bigger question is, what is up with MS Marketin (2)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about a year ago | (#44008101)

There is no Office for iPad.
Atleast read the post titles of the top two posts before rushing to post your two cents you think are worth millions.

He didn't say there was an Office for iPad. He said there was an Office for iOS. The last time I checked, you can run an iOS app in the iPad even if it was made for iPhone/iPod Touch. It may not optimized for an iPad's screen but it will run.

Also, read the part of the summary where it says Apple's forced 30% cut was keeping Office for iPad on hold, so Apple deserves part of the blame for that and the ad is justified in flaunting Office on Windows RT and Windows 8.

You complain of others not understanding an issue but you misstated the problem yourself in so many ways. Apple's 30% cut comes from two sources: 1) 30% of the price of the app or 2) 30% of any subscription revenue generated within the app. Microsoft is under no obligations to do either. If they offered the app for free they don't have to pay Apple. If a user cannot create a subscription within the app, they don't have to pay Apple. This is the same for everyone not specially created for MS. MS wanted Apple to change the rules for them and how is that Apple's fault if they said no?

Re:Bigger question is, what is up with MS Marketin (1)

recoiledsnake (879048) | about a year ago | (#44008357)

This is the same for everyone not specially created for MS. MS wanted Apple to change the rules for them and how is that Apple's fault if they said no?

Because Office is not the same as every other 99c fart app on the App store.

Which app on the iPad among the million apps following the "rules" is going get more business sales in companies for the iPad apart from Office? That's a ton of $$$ if you count the huge margins on iPads. Thus, MS is in a way stronger negotiating position than the developer of a fart sounds app. If you can't understand that simple logic, I have nothing more to say to you.

Also, the ads didn't say it was Apple's fault. They said there is no Office for the iPad. If Apple was more greedy, then, as I said it's "partly Apple's fault".

Other way around, innit? (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#44006341)

iOS Finally Gets Microsoft Office App

FTFY.

Anyone else finds it funny? (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#44006347)

Microsoft releases a half-baked Office for iOS while Apple is going to release a near-complete version of iWork for Web browsers? Even if iWork "Web Edition" doesn't offer everything the OS X version does, I'm pretty sure it will have things like text alignment, fonts, colors and frickin' bullet lists.

Re:Anyone else finds it funny? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44006467)

No not funny, sad for you.

All these Office features you speak of can be found on the Office App for Windows Phone 8. I suggest an upgrade to Windows 8 over your iphone.

Why has apple been waiting for Microsoft to give their users any office application? It's been six years.

Re:Anyone else finds it funny? (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#44006743)

What do you mean six years? Although iWork for iOS came out only a little over a year ago, the original iWork for OS X is 8 years old. And before that there was Appleworks, released in 1984.

Apple haters don't even know their computer history and then bitch about Apple as if Microsoft is the only game in town.

It's not like it was Apple's job to release Office anyway, it's a Microsoft product. What next? Are you going to complain about Nintendo not releasing Zelda for your Xbox360?

Re:Anyone else finds it funny? (1)

Stratus311 (894962) | about a year ago | (#44006825)

You forget that iWork is a steamy pile of shit.

revenue splits my behind (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44006361)

More like they wanted to see how successful 8RT would be. Having this on an iPad erodes almost all of the key differentiators.

But anyhow...I can't imagine anybody composing content on a tablet. I tried that for myself awhile back. Square peg in round hole.

Good for viewing documents on the go (1)

Camembert (2891457) | about a year ago | (#44006393)

So, the software is underwhelming. However I can see it being very useful to have a good number of my most important reference docs and presentations, and a few basic spreadsheets always with me. In fact that is why I mainly use Apple's iWork software on the iPad. Very useful. And I can imagine that in the case of the Microsoft written suite, the file compatibility should be excellent (iWork's import of Powerpoint presentations sometimes has a few rough edges)

One file format to rule them all (3, Interesting)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#44006395)

It's pretty obvious what Microsoft are doing here:
1. release a very limited version of Office for iOS
2. dumb users will badmouth iOS/iDevices because "it can't even handle a full version of Office"
3. the Office file formats get to survive a little longer because "it's even compatible with Apple devices"

Very sneaky, but what do you expect from Microsoft?

Apparently ****ing on it didn't work (1)

WillAdams (45638) | about a year ago | (#44006559)

Quote by Bill Gates, of Microsoft, when asked if he would develop software for the NeXT computer: "Develop for it? I'll piss on it."
http://library.thinkquest.org/22522/quotes.html [thinkquest.org]

(For those who don't recall their computer history, Apple's iOS comes from OPENSTEP, which Apple got when it bought NeXT, and OPENSTEP was the upgrade from NeXTstep which implemented the OPENSTEP standard for NeXT Computers.)

Hopefully this means we'll see a version of OneNote for Mac OS X --- it'd be a nice gesture if they'd bring back Apple's MacBASIC which BG bought for the princely sum of $1 so he could bury it --- http://www.folklore.org/StoryView.py?story=MacBasic.txt [folklore.org] .

But "Office"-type Apps Exist Already? (1)

mrpacmanjel (38218) | about a year ago | (#44006621)

I don't understand how this is a big deal.

I have installed Officesuite Pro on both a tablet and smartphone.

I can create and edit documents quite easily and no subscription is needed. I paid £9.99 and more than happy with it.

It's also "Office" compatible (e.g. excel and word)

Not to mention the other officesuites out there too (e.g. King office is even free)

It all works really well with a bluetooth keyboard linked to a tablet too.

I imagine corporate types are asking for Microsoft Office for IOS - beyond that no big deal.

And so, (1)

Zanadou (1043400) | about a year ago | (#44006737)

Meet the new boss.

Same as the old boss.

It is understandable and quite logical. (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about a year ago | (#44006789)

So Microsoft is reducing the feature set of its iOS MsOffice products. It is understandable and is quite logical. It has to have some differentiation and some small amount of sand in the gears to justify charging hundreds of dollars for its if "full" version. They want to check off that bullet point "iOS support: done". But at the same time it can not charge full money to the iOS suite, Apple is waiting there, waiting with its butcher knife to cleave its 30% commission. So it is going to give away or charge something minimal for the iOS suite. Doing it and maintaining a large price differential for its "full" product needs such tricks.

Bad move! (1)

elabs (2539572) | about a year ago | (#44006833)

They should have kept it a Windows / WindowsPhone exclusive.

software is hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44006951)

Microsoft developers are making great efforts to implement these features as fast as possible. Didn't you know bullet points are really really hard to do?

"iOS finally gets offical MS Office App" (1)

elabs (2539572) | about a year ago | (#44007021)

The title of this pos is backwards. It should read "iOS finally gets offical MS Office App".

80-20 rule (1)

Waffle Iron (339739) | about a year ago | (#44007365)

font options, text alignment, bulleted lists

You know how they always say "80% of the users only use 20% of the features". Well, those features look like they belong solidly in that 20% that they should have focused on. I'm pretty sure that even 1980s vintage copies of WordPerfect running on DOS supported those features.

Word and Excel on a Phone (1)

The Cat (19816) | about a year ago | (#44007569)

The mobile app market is an endless greased-up cash grab by stupid people who do not understand the concept of the "wrong tool for the job."

Doing real "work" on a mobile phone is like assembling a car engine with your teeth. It is completely retarded.

And who cares? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#44007685)

Are people who bought an Apple product lamenting that they don't have a Microsoft product available to them?

I should think that for most people, this would be a big giant "who gives a damn?" kinda thing.

But, who knows ... maybe half of all iPhone users have been saying "gee, if I only had Office, this experience would be complete". Then again, I guess some people need to read excel documents at 2am on their phone -- but I wouldn't be one of them.

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