Apple, during its press event yesterday, announced that all those who buy the new iPad Air or the iPad Mini 2 will be provided with a free copy of iWork.
This decision would not only help it to increase market share for its documents, spreadsheet and presentation suite, but has effectively shattered Microsoft’s hope of making a killing out of its Office for iPad productivity suite. Microsoft had a great window of opportunity a few months back if it would have launched Office for iPad, but it seems that Apple has just walked all over it.
Microsoft may be leading the office productivity software segment through its desktop based solution, but it only has a measly presence when it comes to productivity software on tablets and smartphones. With recent launch of its Office for Mobile (iOS, Android), it may have gained a little share, but the use is restricted to those who subscribe to Office 365 which is definitely an unwanted baggage for quite a few users.
One of the primary reasons behind not having Office for iPad was that it wanted to make its Office software a unique selling point for its Surface tablets. That strategy hasn’t worked out and not only did it write off nearly $900 million in Surface inventory, it missed out on huge revenue stream by not launching Office for iPad.
According to latest figures, Apple iPad has over 33 percent market share and Microsoft could have made a killing out of it. According to some estimates Microsoft is loosing out of billions of dollars of revenue by not releasing an Office for iPad. Apple’s iWork suite, which includes Pages, Numbers and Keynote apps, doesn’t have a huge install base, but considering the latest offer users will be tempted to use the apps and probably even migrate to iWork and not wait and pay for Office for iPad.
Microsoft hasn’t offered its productivity suite for free, ever, and Apple’s latest move of reducing the iWork from $30 to free will basically trample Microsoft’s license based Office. There are third party productivity software available, but something directly from Apple and that too for free would definitely woo customers.
Good luck with Office for iPad Microsoft!