Yep. And that's further proof that Microsoft is losing its way.
First, the company steadfastly squandered its position in the mobile phone market, allowing Apple and Android to achieve a de facto duopoly. (Yes, Windows Mobile pre-dated the two mobile OSes. People actually used it too.). Then, when their mobile OS market share plummeted from 47 percent to three-guys-in-Redmond, they refused to release Microsoft Office for other systems.
Earlier this year, there were rumors of a reversal-of-course and 2014 ETA for Microsoft Office for iPad, iPhones, and even Android. And then, without warning, they released an iPhone-only app that almost no one can actually use.
That’s the ticket. Release a product, with no pre-release hype, to the smallest possible share of the market while a plethora of mobile office suite alternatives dominate the market and continue to improve.
We’d love to write a comprehensive review of Office for iPhone, but alas, we’re part of the 81.8 percent of smartphone users who don’t use iPhones. And we’re definitely not planning on buying a $100 per year subscription to Office 365.
If you are interested, and meet the prerequisites, Gizmodo did a great walkthrough of the new app. The short version is this: Excel actually works, Word is painful for most tasks except quick edits, and as for Powerpoint, you can probably fix a typo and maybe reorder the slides.
The app does look pretty, though!
Look, you’re not going to write a 100 page SCOTUS amicus brief on an iPhone. Quick edits are great, and are probably sufficient for most people. The thing is, when a company waits years to release an app, and is the market leader for desktop office suites, we expect a lot more.
Right now, you could draft such a brief on an iPad or Android tablet, so long as you had quick thumbs or an external keyboard. Mobile office apps have come a long way. A half-baked phone-only app that requires a massive annual subscription is only going to attract true Microsoft fanboys, which hilariously enough, probably wouldn’t be using an iPhone anyway. They are the six people who own Windows Phone 8 devices.
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