Microsoft and Apple, two long-standing rival heavyweights of the American tech industry, recently joined forces to launch Office for iPad. The productivity software release features three familiar programs — Word, Excel and PowerPoint — which have been thoroughly revamped for the iPad’s touchscreen interface.
Ecommerce analysts believe that Microsoft’s tenuous alliance with Apple is likely influenced by strategic factors. Commentators note that while Microsoft and Apple are fierce competitors, they share a similar business model based on hard sales and licensing fees. Google, whose Android tablets are swallowing up an ever-growing share of the market, is largely fueled by advertising revenues. These divergent business models put Google in sharper opposition to Microsoft than Apple.
Also, Microsoft and Apple both stand to benefit from slowing down Android’s rapid spread. Currently, Android tablets command over 60 percent of the global market.
Users can download Word, Excel and PowerPoint for iPad free of charge, though the free versions of the revamped programs offer only limited functionality. Those who wish to take advantage of the software’s full range of features can purchase an Office 365 subscription.
Microsoft’s Office for iPad family of programs boasts unique, platform-specific capabilities. For example, users can draft documents in Word by speaking into the iPad, and documents and spreadsheets can be shared across multiple platforms without compromising their formatting or altering their contents. Office for iPad is compatible with iPads, Mac computers, PCs, iPhones and Windows tablets.
iPad app development professionals have noted that the deal creates a “win-win” situation for Apple, with absolutely no risk. Smartphone and tablet users can now enjoy the world’s top-rated productivity programs on an expanded range of platforms.
What does this mean for NYC mobile app developers? If both companies benefit from the software release as expected, it could signal the beginning of increased cooperation between Microsoft and Apple as both companies seek ways to slow down Android’s momentum. There is a slim possibility that Microsoft could open Office up for developers, ushering in a new wave of innovation for the productivity software bundle.Tags: apple ipad, excel for ipad, itunes app store, microsoft ipad app, microsoft office, office ipad app, powerpoint ipad app, word ipad app