Nope, no, and not. The most anticipated new product for 2014 is Microsoft’s upcoming Office for iPad. Alright, forgive me– even I can’t write that with a straight face. The rumor mill says Office for iPad is on the way, but I suspect it will be met with a collective yawn all over the world. Why?
Too Little, Too Late
For all the criticism Apple gets for hogging the premium end of whatever market it invades, the company often shows us a better way.
Look at the iPhone. Apple showed the world a better way to build and use a smartphone, which resulted in dramatic industry disruption.
Microsoft may have laughed at the original iPhone, but who’s laughing now? Microsoft is the one playing catch up, an insignificant sliver of the category known as Other.
For a couple of decades the Windows and Office juggernaut ruled the PC industry. You couldn’t have one without the other. That made Microsoft rich.
What a few hundred million iPad users found out as they ushered in the post-PC era is that personal computing did not require Office. Microsoft is so desperate to become relevant in smartphones and tablets that they’re bundling everything but the kitchen sink to get customers to buy their products.
Leverage No More
Office for Windows was the leverage that made Microsoft crazy-assed profitable over the past 20 years, but nearly a billion iPhone and iPad customers, not to mention over a billion Android OS smartphone and tablet customers, get along just fine without Office.
The mobile era, post-PC era is chugging along without Microsoft and without Office, and no one cares (except Microsoft, stunned into paralysis by the rapid change in the industry instituted by Apple and Google).
Office, like Windows, is attached to the last century, the era of increasing complexity for the sake of profitability. Microsoft may want to shove PC-like apps down the throats of mobile device owners, but they’ve already been shown a better way, and it’s not Windows and Office everywhere.
We’ll know exactly how desperate Microsoft is to get back into the mobile game based upon the price of Office; Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. The lower the price, the greater the desperation. Already Apple’s iPhone and iPad are the number one mobile products in the enterprise, once the bastion of Microsoft’s Windows and Office.
Windows and Office are relics, dinosaurs from another age who can’t stand the heat of the mobile era. Goodbye, Office. We hardly knew ye.