Apple likes to highlight cool software for the device it’s
introducing, so why not Office? It would be more beneficial for
Microsoft than Apple, but still I think Apple would give them a
place at the keynote.
Having given this more thought, I think it comes down to short-term vs. long-term strategy. Short-term, highlighting Office for the iPad would clearly be in Apple’s interest. The iWork suite is an alternative to Office, but not a feature-for-feature replacement. Surely there is some number of people who aren’t buying iPads who would if it did have Office, and that number is, I’d bet, significant.
Long-term, though, giving Microsoft a spot onstage, however brief, would only serve to reinforce the notion that serious computing platforms need Microsoft Office. The iPad has, to date, been sending the opposite message: that you don’t need Office. Another long-term strategic angle: does Apple want to lend credence to the notion that Microsoft can write first-class touchscreen tablet apps, when Microsoft is set to ship its own tablet-savvy version of Windows later this year?
But it’s best not to overthink this. Office for iPad would sell a lot of iPads. That’s the bottom line.
★ Friday, 24 February 2012