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back to article Death to Office or to Windows - choose wisely, Microsoft

Windows is dead, and Microsoft Office has killed it. Or will, once the rumours about Microsoft porting its wildly popular Office product to the iPad become reality. For just as porting Office to Mac OS X back in 2001 sowed the seeds of Apple's relevance as a credible desktop alternative to Windows, so too will Microsoft's …

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PJI
Meh

How rude can the loosing set get?

Ever noticed how those on the loosing side of an argument get ever more abusive and shrill? It's hard being uncertain of oneself or knowing that your pet beliefs are being shattered.

Get over it, retrieve your calmness and put that energy into adjusting to the changing world.

And, dear Linux fans: never forget that it is an incomplete UNIX imitation and, despite all the roaring and cheering for many years now, has not and is unlikely ever to make it into the hands of the common man. It may work if, like OSX vis a vis IOS, it takes the lessons learnt from Android mobile telephones (well, some of them) and becomes more user friendly.

Until then, huff and puff and sheer rudeness will not work. Unlike you, most of the world hates neither Apple nor Microsoft (and barely knows the difference, just like you I suspect).

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FAIL

Re: How rude can the loosing set get?

What has been loosed can be tightened.

But seriously, it's so good to hear from a real live expert; good job you came along when you did.

Do stick around, I'm certain that we can organise a collection from the grateful.

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Pint

Office in the cloud

I could understand for any pad if there where means to get some money out of it.

Office for Linux was something wanted, long ago, but I think that train has left due to Open Office and LibreOffice. As a free download, perhaps, but then again, think about all the children.

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Pint

Re: Office in the cloud

And I did forget Wine, so there is no need for a Office for Linux, indeed.

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Re: Re: Office in the cloud

Does Wine run the latest incarnation of Office flawlessly nowadays? Last time I've checked there still were serious glitches

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Pint

Re: Re: Re: Office in the cloud

I would suppose CrossOver does it OK, then again "flawless" does not apply to Office either.

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Anonymous Coward

Imminent Death of redmond-as-we-know-it Predicted

If that's true, then it's one more reason why micros~1 should've been split up a long time ago. Not just for our sakes, for their sake too, long-term speaking. Now, it'll be amazon (of all companies) that stands a good chance of winning big by dint of having turned everything internally into an API, allowing them to integrate new things in a clean way. Why, they could take online office components and tie them up into a massive electronic commerce/office/whatnot system. They have the means to support it, to roll it out, to flatten everyone else. Provided "cloud" is going to win the day. And since the iPad was made exactly for "consuming websites" that way....

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Thumb Down

Death to Office or to Windows... sooo misses the point.

The article misses the point of the very question raised in the title.. and doesn’t consider the implications the thesis.

Those who’ve been around for long enough will know that MS Word started on Xenix (Unix) and Excel started on the Mac.. both have been ported several times to different UI.. We’ve all got used to the idea of “evil MS”, and forgotten that maybe Office never made it to {Sun NEWS, BeOS, Motif} because there was no demand. Maybe Office on Linux didn’t happen for political reasons.. or maybe the myriad desktop Linux still aren’t big enough to risk MS-support being drowned with granny’s support-calls that are really Linux problems.. maybe MS are just being honest about their reasons.

Now the iPad is clearly a big dominant market that meets the scorecard for an office-port.. what needs to be done to the UI to make it “work” on the iPad (witness the big differences in iWork)? It is not as if you can’t get office 2010 on iPad already (Citrix/RDP, Office 365), but the UI just don’t work for a multi-touch Tablet. We know MS is working on table Office.. but which port should they do first Win8 or iPad?.. and just for good measure.. would Apple allow MS to stick Office in their AppStore (they do get to choose).

What can we expect? Expect to see an iPad Office sometime after Win8 Tablet is solidly grounded, and then mainly to showcase Tablet differences (Office on a £400 iDell or £800 on an iPad).

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FAIL

Flabberghasted.

By the same logic, because I refuse to use windows because it's a broken operating system, and LIbre Office does everything I need, everyone will switch to Linux and Windows and Office are both going to die.

Unfortunately not everyone chooses their operating system on the same criteria as me, nor Matt, and making that assumption, even in an opinion piece on the register is ridiculous.

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Journotard

Don't know about porting Office to the Mac in 2001, but it was launched for the Mac in late 1989 and wasn't available for Windows until a year later.

Office for the Mac has been available for the Mac continuously since then - although the later versions (2004 onwards) are not as feature complete as their Windows counterparts.

I've been using Office on the Mac since 1990, and on the Mac & Windows since 1996 - along with Persuasion (Mac) & Lotus Freelance(Windows).

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Re: Journotard

Agreed. Mr Assay is either willfully ignorant of recent history or is trying to rewrite it. Office '98 on the Mac was a straight out port of the DOS/Windows Office '97 and it bombed in the marketplace, being the utter crap you might expect.To MS's credit, they surveyed their vassals on the Mac platform, hired over 100 Mac programmers to show them how to code and released a pretty reasonable Mac-native product. They did it because they valued the business – a higher proportion of Mac users at the time used MS Office than did Windows users. When Mr Jobs returned to Apple in 1997 continued development of Office for Mac was one of the items involved in Steve and Bill's horse-trading along with making IE the default browser and MS coughing up for a few Apple shares to settle the case of their wholesale "adoption" of Quicktime code. Both benefited enormously.

You could say being hired by Steve Jobs in the 1980's to write Word and Excel for the then new Mac platform was Bill G's second lucky break (after his mum got Gerstner at IBM to listen his DOS pitch) and the beginning of their symbiotic if fractious relationship. As for Office on the iPad. I couldn't care less. But then I don't have one. Yet.

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IT Angle

No, Matt, porting does not matter

Matt, MS can port their Office applications to any platform they like - this does not matter. What matters is that they still have a USP - a unique selling point to convince people to pay for their product. Microsoft successfully extended that USP by adding more features to their Office suite - one example being Visio, the other Office Web Apps. Libre Office seems to have achieved quite a maturity and feature richness that we can say that Office software has become a commodity - and it covers word processing, spreadsheet and math calculations, presentation, drawings, visio import, and database client frontend. Calligra Suite - if it is eventually released - has cutting edge Qt design and has even more applications than MS Office (Braindump and Plan). I therefore cannot see where MS Office' USP is now. And I haven't even started about Evolution, Thunderbird or Roundcube mail clients.

You should actually know this from your time at Alfresco: What is now MS Sharepoint's USP in the face of Alfresco, or Twiki?

You work at CIO level, would you go for a widely used, stable propriety solution with licensing costs and litigation if you have installed too many copies, or would you install a widely used, stable free solution with no licensing costs an no threat of litigation?

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Silver badge

Cloud!

If Microsoft releases Office for the ipad it will need to let users save to a network somewhere, else the employer will have to kit everyone out with a desk/laptop for syncing. That network will be Microsoft's cloud. And if you've got a contract for documents in the cloud, you may as well have other cloud stuff in the same cloud: single sign-on, each additional service at a "reduced" rate etc.

Today I had to do some diffs on files in 2 folders, a bit of merging, dragged a few of the files into another app to run them as scripts, wrote a few notes, zipped it all up and then emailed it. I did this on Windows because that's what I've been given. If I'd been given an ipad I'd have brought my own laptop to the office and done it on that!

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Anonymous Coward

What a stupid article.

Two points that seemed to have been missed are:

-It has already been disclosed in the press that MS are creating a tablet (touch) version of Office for WOA. Given that the iPad is also on the ARM chipset, and a touch device, it is probably not too hard to port the WOA version of Office to the iPad. And given that iPads sales are expected to hit the 100m mark pretty soon, that is an attractive revenue stream.

-It has been disclosed in the press that the tablet version of Office on ARM will be a cut down version of Office on x86. The author is comparing apples with pears. Tablet = companion device.

-Android tablets are currently a commercial failure, and the device base is fragmented. Commercial commonsense would put Android in the 'more trouble than it is worth' category. This could change over time, but right now, it appears to be the state of play.

Finally, what I would expect MS to do is massively increase the total office user base by selling Office licenses to the iPad install base. Then try to position WOA as a 'better' tablet platform for enterprise due to better enterprise management capabilities (via Systems Center etc)

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Windows dead? What are you smoking?

I have an iPhone and a Macbook Pro, but with Quick Office on my iPhone and Libre Office on my Macbook Pro, I'm not dumping my Windows desktop at home and my employer isn't dumping Windows Desktops and replacing them with iPads. No medium to large size business is going to do that. That is the thing this author is missing. While the author may be willing to give up his Macbook Air and exclusively use his iPad with office, businesses aren't going to do that, and that is the reason why Windows with it's 84% market share, isn't going anywhere, any time soon. Not for businesses. Not for consumers. As much as I like the Apple technology I have, it's just not going to replace Windows computing. This is just like that "Network Computer" nonsense that was suppose to replace Windows. The iPad is not a computer replacement device. It's an add on. Everyone I know who has an iPad uses it as an add on device, not computer replacement. This may happen in emerging markets (other than China), but not in the USA and Europe.

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FAIL

Real people, doing real work...

will be doing it on PCs. Whether they are Windows, Apple, Linux, or next-best-thing, and whether they are are desktop or laptop.

Have to suggest... looking at the real world before writing articles like this.

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FAIL

Office existed on the Mac long before 2001

Where on Earth did the author get his magic date of 2001 for the appearance of MS Office on the Mac? Excel was a Mac product *first* (about 1985-86, if memory serves) and was then ported to the rudimentary pre-3.0 Windows. The WYSIWYG GUI version of Word appeared on the Mac *first*. However, the codebases of the products diverged until Word 6, when the Windows code was backported to the Mac, and suddenly the user experience (on the Mac) went all to pot; that would have been in the mid-late 1990s. Still, it *did* mean that Office on the two platforms was now bug-for-bug compatible. As any Mac user of a certain age will tell you, Word reached its zenith with version 5.1a, and it's been downhill ever since.

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Anonymous Coward

So "porting Office to Mac OS X back in 2001 sowed the seeds of Apple's relevance as a credible desktop alternative to Windows" but not all the previous mac versions of office apps going back to 1984?

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FAIL

utter crap

Has the author ever worked in an office? Does he really expect people who have to use an office productivity suite every day to do on a 10" screen? The one thing most users always want is a bigger screen, not smaller. Add to that small things like no numeric keyboard or function keys on the official Appe bluetooth keyboard, no iPad mouse... Does he expect users to have the iPad raised up to an ergonomically suitable position and still use the touchscreen? Take your choice folks, hunched shoulders with it on your desk or screaming shoulders as you navigate around your spreadhseet at eye level.

Last thing... price.

Cheapest iPad + keyboard + dock = £481.00 (as per Apple online store)

Laptop capable of running Office = £300 from Dell (no reason for Dell, just a quick look for a price)

So, £181 for a smaller screen, poor ergonomics and no support for any other business apps. The author did remember that people use a whole array of applications that will never run on an iPad?

Tablets must have a purpose, but, creating word documents and excel spreadsheets aren't something I would want to do on one. The fact that the vast majority of business-critical software (databases, HR, accounting, sales, CRM) will never work on any type of tablet means that they are just not suited to the type of work us minions have to do... they remain, at present, the preserve of managers who like to pose.

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fzz

WRONG!

Author either was too stupid to find Office for Mac in 2000 or is too stupid to check Wikipedia. Take your pick. The original versions of Word and Excel were on Macs, and there have been Mac versions of both continually since 1985, and Mac versions of the whole Office suite since 1989.

So given the complete BS of the premise, what are we to make of the ensuing argument?

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Anonymous Coward

too stupid to check Wikipedia

WTF?! By definition anyone choosing Wikipedia as a reference source is already too stupid.

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fzz

Re: too stupid to check Wikipedia

As an ending point, agreed. However, as a starting point, it would mention Mac versions from the 1980s and 1990s. At that point easy to find other, corroborating sources. And in this particular case, possibly only by happenstance and dumb luck, the Wikipedia article actually get the facts right.

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Anonymous Coward

Written by a manager type

The iPad does lots of shiny cool things. It works well for meetings where there is relatively minimal input needed. It works well for using the WWW, watching movies, things that don't take much keyboard input or heavy processing. In other words, manager things and leisure things, but not many of the heavy duty work things workers need to do (maybe the author thinks there won't be any more work in the first world anymore).

Sure, I can use a smartphone for email, but I DON"T LIKE TO. Small screen, poor key entry, PITA accessing attachments even in the cloud (this is work, not zero security iCloud/googlecloud/amazoncloud claptrap after all). iPad visibility is better, but entry of data is still poor and last I looked the iPad did not support multimonitor....

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Coat

Put down the pitchforks and torches

There will be no full Office on iOS or Android, so there's nothing to discuss here.

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FAIL

The author overlooks stuff...

"The one platform Microsoft is not rumoured to be supporting anytime soon is Google's Android, just as Office-on-Linux remains a chimera."

Do you know the one Office (2010) program I actually use on a daily basis, on both my main PC as well as my XP laptop (which runs Office 2003) ? OneNote. OneNote can be invaluable for storing any kind of information, from passwords to foto's to text snippets and even spoken word. And once you have a few pictures in it you can even make OneNote search for text on those as well. And while its online counterpart (webapp) can't do all of this, it does get you a good way into accessing your notes and information online.

Guess what? Mobile OneNote has also been released for Android a few weeks ago:

http://blogs.office.com/b/microsoft-onenote/archive/2012/02/07/onenote-mobile-for-android-is-now-available-worldwide.aspx

So what's this about not supporting Android any time soon ?

You're also overlooking the obvious issues here.. Sure, mobile Office on iPads could mean that some people maybe tempted to switch. But with mobile Windows 8 coming around its also not too unlikely that many people may switch to that platform as well.

You seem to think that switching only goes one way; away from Microsoft. Bzzzt. There are also plenty of people who discover some of the advantages which MS Office holds. The world isn't that black / white you know.

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Some of you are taking it too literally

I think you will find that Matt Assay was making a point. Ok so some of the detail may be exaggerated but the basic point is that tablets esp ipad are the trend, and msft ignore it at their peril. But they are in a cleft stick because msft business model assumes a windows monoculture, that they wouldnt want to undermine.

However if that monoculture is going away anyway, will msft have the balls to embrace it? Not while Ballmer is there methinks.

By the way, trends dont care about the installed base that some of you seem to care about so much. New sales are the thing - and that's also what the share price depends on.

(typed on android tablet)

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ipads are good for watching movies and playing games

and that's it. when i see someone using one... i know that person is not productive.

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MS mad to support office in the ipad.

What a load of rubbish historically Microsoft has always played catch up; netscape, lotus 123, wordperfect, Novell, O2/2 I could go on however its always ended out on top.

Its like a big battle ship that takes time to maneuver in to place and fire back at new competing fronts, the guns are now trained on mobile and tablets and the game changer is Windows 8, Apple and everyone else knows it.

Windows 8 will run across PC, mobile and tablet and the rumour is that office (or a version of it) will be free on the tablet format to complement the mobile version.

So come this autumn we will have a flood of tablets from all the OEM’s running the excellent windows 8 ARM version with office fully integrated. Competing against the overpriced over hyped Ipad, and remember in this new world there is little loyalty so it the price and spec is right its Apple is the company that should be afraid.

In conclusion Microsoft would be daft to port office to the iPad. In “the noughties” Microsoft’s support of the Mac with office saved the ailing company no mention of that fact, they should not make the same mistake again.

Time Apple with their patent hungry lawyers got a good kick in the *******. Its coming.

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Re: MS mad to support office in the ipad.

> its always ended out on top.

Microsoft has 'always ended out on top', but not because of product quality. It was because of OEM contracts. Things like 'per box pricing' where the OEM paid Microsoft even if they put DR-DOS on a computer, or 'discounts' where these only applied if every machine of a particular model made by an OEM shipped with Windows.

And then there are the retailers who sell what makes them the most money. A Linux machine does not need all the add-ons nor will the customer need to buy a replacement anytime soon. Windows needs addons such as AV software, Office, etc and a couple of years later needs to be replaced by something faster. All more revenue and profit.

> office (or a version of it) will be free on the tablet format

It will be 'free' like Windows is 'free'. There will be a price to pay which will be part of the price of the tablet. This will make tablets more expensive than equivalent Android or Linux tablets, and probably more than an iPad. But MS probably won't care if WOA (Windows on ARM) doesn't sell, its purpose is to stop OEMs making Linux/Android tablets because doing so will lose the 'OEM discount' on _all_ computers.

> overpriced over hyped Ipad,

I'm not sure why you think that iPad is 'overpriced'. It is competing against Samsung and Sony tablets with equivalent hardware. With Windows8 on x86 a tablet will have an additional burden of paying for an Intel processor, more RAM and SD disk, and the licence fees for W8 and Office. WOA will not have the extra hardware costs but still will pay MS. The only way that W8 or WOA tablets will be cheaper than iPad or equivalent Androids is if MS subsidises them or the OEMs make a loss.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Re: MS mad to support office in the ipad.

Nice writeup in general, and you can be forgiven for omitting (for brevity) the ecosystem of certified Microsoft dependent resellers, "systems engineers", etc, who are obliged to remain faithful to the cause or risk losing their certifications.

"WOA .. its purpose is to stop OEMs making Linux/Android tablets because doing so will lose the 'OEM discount' on _all_ computers."

You know that, I know that, everybody else knows that, so when will the anti-trust actions start?

"The only way that W8 or WOA tablets will be cheaper than iPad or equivalent Androids is if MS subsidises them"

Probably true, after all the subsidy works for contract phones and for games consoles - take a loss on the phone/console/tablet, make it up on the contract/games/apps. This makes it even more important that the tablets cannot be used for anything other than Windows. We'll have to see what actually happens on the day.

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FAIL

just one problem with this image..

It's all good and well to predict the Death of the World As We Know it, but ultimately the author gazes in his crystal ball, ignoring the fact that the fondleslab (of any variety) as a work-related productivity tool is something only interesting ( if allowed at all) to a very minor slice of the total workforce.

Even allowing for possible future developments, the scenario described by the author seems highly unlikely. Between conservatism and replacement policies alone the sheer lag on the shift the author gushes about would take a decade or more to accomplish, even if he was right on the mark.

Oh, and obvious Fanboi is obvious.

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bollocks

There's no way anyone will do any real work on an ipad. A quick email maybe, but nothing more.

I will never replace my laptop with an ipad. They are nothing more than a gimmick.

My desktop no longer gets powered on mind, but only because my lappy docks into a proper 24inch screen - if I'm doing some coding or other real work.

The lappy has a proper sized screen - 12inch as that makes it actually portable...

Why on earth would I need an ipad when a proper sized lappy does the same job, only better?

p.s.: I don't consider office mission critical since the advent of openoffice/libreoffice and variants.

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FAIL

nonsense

This is like saying that the invention of the home microwave would kill off the oven and hob. Tablets are great for content consumption but will never be able to compete for a larger laptop or desktop for content creation. Jst like with my kitchen analogy they both will have their place and will happily live together for many years to come. Windows and its offspring will be around a lot longer than this chap's career if he keeps making these sort of predictions.

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Re: nonsense

You know that a lot of modern apartments / flats have only a microwave for heating stuff up, no oven and hob, there's no call for kitchens these days -- as dining rooms before them -- with particular demographics (young, urban, professionals) who eat out or buy ready meals.

My kids love an American tv show called 'The Middle' where the protagonist family use their cooker for bedding storage, as they eat take-away and warm popcorn in the microwave. I imagine there's plenty of households in the UK where cooker and hob are never turned on.

Similarly I already know people who've gone from desktop to laptop to netbook to iPad tablet exclusivity, not for me as I have proper work to do on workstation / desktop but I can see quite a lot of people going that way too.

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Surely most iPad owners who need an office suite have now downloaded one of the cheap or even free alternative apps from the app store, i doubt they are going to pay the £100 or so MS will probably want for office and i don't see MS reducing the price down to under £20 to be competitive.

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Sheer fantasy

What tosh - "Office is a kingmaker in the enterprise, and the iPad is already king there. If Microsoft wants to make money from Office, it has no choice but to support the iPad"? Seriously? "iPad is already king there"? What utter cobblers, what planet did this chap just land from?

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blimey

Who is this guy Matt Asay? And what universe was he living in when "Back in 2000, I was tempted by the Mac, but couldn't justify buying a machine that locked me out of the indispensable tool for business: Office."

Powerpoint originated on the Mac in the mid 80s only later coming to Windows. The first version of Excel was release by Microsoft in 1985 for the Mac, with the Windows version following a couple of years later. Likewise the GUI version of Microsoft Word was released for Mac years before Windows. The application bundle named "Microsoft Office" was released for Mac a year before the Windows release in 1990. The article link to the Microsoft announcement about Office being ported to the upcoming OS X release of Mac OS in 2001 was an expected statement about what was already the most successful software franchise on the Mac with a track record going back 15 years.

From an author boasting credentials that suggest at least a little knowledge of the PC business, it is almost unbelievable to read an article displaying such ignorance of the subject matter.

The new Microsoft strategy seems to be holding back the release (and money making opportunity) of Office for iOS until Windows 8 brings iPad competition. Whether this proves as successful as the earlier Mac first approach remeains to be seen.

The logic leading to the statement Windows is dead is almost as risible as the historically false premise. Interesting topic though would be interesting to read the opinion of someone from OSI Open Source Initiative who has some clue about what has happened in the past and where we are now.

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WTF?

Great article.. but wrong

I did enjoy this article and it raised some interesting questions, but surely if the author's hypothesis is correct then we'd already have seen Macs taking over the enterprise since Office was released for it in 2001 (not forgetting there was Office 98 for classic MacOS and of course the very first version of Office was for Mac).

What's the betting only the 4 core Office products will be available for the iPad (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote) - to get Outlook (that's the crucial business app) and the other myriad of products you'll need a Windows 8 PC. Yes the iPad can access exchange, but can it do all the labels, meeting requests (with room allocation), tasks, out of office replies etc that Outlook does?

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Anonymous Coward

Windows is dying a slow death

Everyone I know either has a mac or is wanting a mac, or is dreaming of having one.

Game over for Microsoft.

(There is a reason, it makes windows look like a bag of spanners)

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Re: Everyone I know ...

You really need to get out more.

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Biased

This article is written by someone who made his living from a non/anti Microsoft technologies. Now one would know why has he forecasted death of windows. Maybe he isn't aware of Windows 8 or he is being Ostrich to its threat

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Anonymous Coward

Horrid "article"

Even as an opinion piece this is bad and historically inaccurate. Jobs deal in 1997 ensured that Office would be supported for what would eventually be the transition to Mac OS X. Previous versions continued to work in Classic - in fact better than running natively in OS 9 (from personal experience since Word tried to eat my PhD thesis - got through most of Chapter one until I dual-booted my OSX beta partition and saved in in Classic). So to present history of the port to OSX as if it were the first time Office came to Mac is stupid. There was a brief delay in getting a Carbon version but a lot less of a delay before the Cocoa version. For the most part end users were oblivious to this. Having Office continue on the Mac certainly maintained the platform's credibility but the iPod and iMac largely saved the company. Microsoft benefitted from the sales of these versions on Mac hardware - hell they originally built Office on the Mac and will they will benefit from an iPad version. The rest of the article is blah blah speculation. Windows is not going away - it's hard to know if W8 will be a game changer - but I'm sure the profit they will make off the iPad version will help the R&D for W9...

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"real work"

Maybe Office is real work for certain people, but wake me when I can use Mentor graphics, Solidworks, ProE, Catia, Cosmos etc on a tablet. At the same time as writing a report containing stuff from all these "aps". And interface some obscure gear through a real serial post and an ancient dos interface.

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Office for iPad or productivity lite

Hmmmmmmm.

This is the way I see it, If you REALLY need office, then you need a big screen (preferably two), a full sized keyboard and a mouse. If you're an office worker you also need to run databases, email, web etc at the same time in an easier to use way than the iPad can provide. If the world was all iPads, the Windows PC would have to be invented.

If you don't need full Office, then why not just use Office 365? That'll work on any device you use. My suspicion is this: there are quite a lot of execs, journalists, students and so forth who like to look like they need full office, but actually don't. These people will parade around with their Office loaded iPads for effect, whilst the rest of us use Office on proper computers to do real jobs.

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Anonymous Coward

"Office 365"

Before eating the MS and Google Propaganda (which is very sweet indeed), try it out for yourself. Very low functionality (not even text headings) and most importantly, Javascript Does Not Scale. Just try to process a 50 page document in their JS text processors and FF. I guess it is doing GC 99% of time.

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WTF?

Matt is on crack on this one

Office on the iPad. All right, now what?

Microsoft does a ton of business in the enterprise. I can look all I want but at a lot of places, CxOs may have their iPads but these aren't on the corporate network. 3G links but no direct.

Apple is not interested in the enterprise space, it is now a customer company.

And stop forcing us to jailbreak to get decent features (like basic file upload in Safari, filesystem access, USB port that works without bugging me with "Too much power", and other stuff).

I own an iPad, quite a bunch of apps, develop on the device. It is still in infancy and not ready to take on the ton of things MS Win does. Do CAD/CAM work on an iPad, we'll talk later.

And the tablet is a slow beast. Vector editing with several layers just sucks when things gets tough.

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Anonymous Coward

people who use office for a living

Are usually required to spend all day sitting at an old shitty computer terminal with syphilis and gonorrhea in the keyboard and would definitely not be allowed to move around or use an ipad.

That might give them the idea that they have "rights".

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This is incredible news!

So now ipadtards will rejoice resulting in peace in the middle east, they will help find the cure for cancer and HIV, they will be the first to make contact with aliens from another dimension (naturally the aliens will be amazed at the magical Apple devices) and they will find the answer to stopping aging/death dead in its tracks forever.

Magical my a$$pu$$y. I can't believe anyone really cares if Office will be ported to the iPad, and I don't care if some people only use Linux and Mac. In the grand scheme of the universe, such petty things actually mean absolutely nothing.

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Anonymous Coward

It's funny. A few weeks ago I'd have agreed with many comments here.

Then, on El Reg, I read about Xooms going for £250. I had a play - and I had a punt. As it turned out ICS came out a few days earlier so that went on. So I have a fairly modern tablet - 32Gb, wifi with GPS, for a very good price.

And it's brilliant.

I accept it is never going to be as good as an iPad but I paid less than half the price of the equivalent fruity product.

And with a £30 keyboard it is nearly as functional as my laptop. In fact I reckon it has taken over two thirds of my laptop needs. Days go by without needing the HP. (Thankfully, as they made a lousy laptop.)

Until you use a tablet you don't quite get their purpose. But boy when they do enough, they do it well. And I'm doing enough of work using Google docs in the cloud. So I don't really need Office, but would probably get it if offered the chance. Doc compatibility is good enough but total compatibility would be better.

One thing I don't get however. Surely MS could/should keep it as a Win8 tablet exclusive? It'd be their killer app. Or killer app suite, more accurately.

Finally as an aside, where do I stick this comment? (Obvious gags aside.) If I put it following the suitable replies from Friday nobody will ever read it. If you've read all 3 pages so far you ain't gonna trawl for new ones. Put at the end it's out of context somewhat. Reg, sort your do comments system out (again) please!

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