01 Apr Can Office For iPad Help Tablets Replace PCs?
Microsoft has officially released a version of its ubiquitous Microsoft Office software for Apple’s iPad.
The long awaited Office for iPad officially hit the App Store on March 27th (American PDT) and comes as a welcome tool for those wishing to get the most out of their iPads.
Although Office mobile was released for the iPhone in June 2013, it is only now that users are able to use the same software on iPads.
It was Steve Ballmer’s, Microsoft’s previous CEO, decision not make a version of Office compatible with iPads and some have suggested this decision was to do with last year’s release of the Surface tablet.
Forbes wrote, “If Office had been available on iPad from the beginning, Microsoft would have had greater difficulties in adoption of its Surface tablet.”
But after the appointment of new CEO Satya Nadella in February, plans to make a version of Office for iPad have finally come to fruition.
Mircrosoft has reportedly sacrificed a lot of revenue in the past by not having developed a version of Office for the iPad earlier.
An article on the Telegraph UK suggested that this figure is approximately $2.5 billion a year. So it is understandable why Nadella has steered Microsoft in this direction.
In the lead up to the release of the new software, debates have circled the internet regarding the implications of this decision for both Apple and Microsoft.
The significance and fall out of Office for iPad goes well beyond the further ubiquity of Microsoft and eliminating file conversion and compatibility issues.
In fact Office for iPad has the potential to change the nature of computer use across Australia.
Typically, iPads are viewed as entertainment and consumption devices. They’re great for watching movies, using facebook, reading the news and playing games.
But the iPad’s uses within work and educational environments were limited by the lack of word processing and other productivity software. The Microsoft Office Suite tends to be the industry standard and without a compatible version of Office, the use of iPads within these environments can only go so far.
This is where Office for iPad becomes a game changer.
The Sydney Morning Herald wrote last week that tablets are secondary entertainment devices, but if Microsoft were to develop Office software for iPad, there will be an increase in the number of people who use tablets as their primary device. And since Apple account for 55 per cent of the tablet market share, this could lead to tablet use overtaking PC use by 2015.
Managing Director of Telsyte, Foad Fadaghi, told the SMH, “Australians are increasingly seeing their tablets as their main computing device in the home.”
He also said that, “once we see the arrival of almost all the apps a consumer might use, the acceptance of a tablet as a primary computing device should pick up.”
Microsoft Office is available now on the App Store for those with an Office 365 subscription. It currently offers apps for Word, Excel and Powerpoint but more are expected to be released at a later date.
In all three applications you can open, edit and create documents and sync documents to your OneDrive so you can access them on other devices.
All three apps have a remarkably similar feel to the desktop version. They each feature a version of the ribbon menu found in the standard desktop variety that allows you to edit fonts, insert images, change the layout, view word counts and more. The Word and Powerpoint apps also come with a range of handy templates.
You’re not getting exactly the same flexibility and number of editing options you have with the desktop versions of these apps but users will have almost everything needed to create quality documents.
If you don’t have an Office 365 subscription, you can try it for free for 30 days by visiting office.com/try and signing up.
To see Office For iPad in action, check out the video below!
Will Office for iPad help you improve your productivity on your iPad? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!