As I noted last night, Office should have been on the iPad years ago. I suspect Microsoft was mired down in some combination of failed strategies: trying to force people to buy a (horrible) Surface tablet, trying to force people to use its online services (which even if we wanted to, we couldn’t find them because their names change every other week), and trying to drag people to its online suite of Office products, Office365.
They seem to have given up on some of those strategies, but Meatloaf was wrong. 2 out of 3 is not enough.
I’m simply not going to pay Microsoft $70 a year, forever, to use Word (the only Office app I really need on my iPad). Rather, I’ll continue to use Word on my desktop until someone completes the ongoing process of making Office completely irrelevant. Yes, Word has a stranglehold on corporate America, but Microsoft seems to have either ignored or given up on the rest of the potential user base. And here’s the other thing: the exodus from traditional computers to tablets isn’t going to stop just because Microsoft makes an offer that everyone can refuse. Having Word on our iPads would be good. But not $70/year good.
Sure, you can look at Office documents without a subscription, but hacking up features like that is as unnecessary and disjointed as, you know, having a tablet with two different versions of Windows on it. If they want to require us to use OneDrive (NOTE: by the time you read this, its name will likely have changed again) to sync and store documents, OK. But you can do that without making us pay a never-ending subscription charge.
I’m not saying Office for iPad should be free. Charge for it. $10, $20, whatever. If people will pay 3 figures for the various iterations of OmniFocus, people will probably sell their kids to buy Word.
Even if I was willing to pay $70/year for Office365, that only allows Office to be used on 1 PC (don’t own one) or Mac (I use three regularly). Sigh.
I guess I’m glad Office is closer to being available on iPads. But it’s not close enough for me to jump.