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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Why did Microsoft put MS Office on the iPad and not Android?

AppleInsider published an editorial which delves into the market share of Apple iPads versus the market share of Android tablets. Apple, according to Gartner, Apple has just 36% of the market while Android devices enjoy over 61% of the market. Windows and other OSs make up the remaining market share slice of the pie chart. 


So why has Microsoft decided to port Word, Excel, and Powerpoint over to the iOS platform? Especially since Microsoft recently scoffed at the iPad as inferior to its Surface tablet? Why not port Word, Excel, and Powerpoint over to the market share leading Android? Lots of questions. Here are some answers.


Android does have 61.9% of the market. The whole market. Not just the Android tablets comparable to the iPad in terms of price and performance, but the low-price models most suitable for playing games and viewing videos. (emphasis added)


To quote Apple insider, “…These sort of "tablets" make up an incredible two thirds of the global tablet numbers reported by market research firms, clarifying that it's the recent recognition of these devices as "tablets" that has affected Apple's iPad "market share," not competition from tablet makers like Samsung and Microsoft, both of whom continue to struggle far behind Apple in their tablet sales. 


These low-price Android tablets have their place, such as in front of children on a cross-country trip. If it gets destroyed, it’s no big loss. 


Microsoft wants to go after the premium tablet market. Right now, Apple’s 36% of the market is all premium tablets that can run MS Office and that run the latest version of their mobile OS for the most part. 


What about Microsoft’s scoffing at the iPad? Well, that was then, when Microsoft wanted to promote its Surface tablet. Now they want to promote Office 365, which is software as a service (SAS), a term  you will hear a lot of in the forthcoming weeks and months.  


That’s why Microsoft gives away the software for Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. You can only read existing documents with what you download. You have to sign  up for a Office 365 subscription in order to create new documents


Cha-ching! That’s how Microsoft will make money in the future. They don’t care if Microsoft Office 365 runs on tablets using Intel, ARM, PowerPC, or Doritos chips. Just so long as you pay that subscription, they will happily provide you with MS Office 365.  


Tom Briant

Editor, MacValley Blog

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