arlier this week, The Daily published photographs that seemed to confirm the long-standing rumor that Microsoft Office is coming to Apple's iPad. (Microsoft denies that the leaked images are real, but hasn't denied the existence of the project.) Of course, Apple and Microsoft have a long, contentious history that dates back decades. But bringing Microsoft's flagship software to the iPad — which is poised to easily surpass sales of 50 million tablets this year — would put their common rival, Google, at a competitive disadvantage, because "an Android version of Office is not in the works," said Matt Hickey at The Daily. Could putting the world's most popular productivity software on the world's most popular tablet cripple Google's tablet business?
It sure sounds like it: "Apple and Microsoft both hate Google far more than they hate one another," says MG Siegler at Parislemon, and it's in the best interest of both companies to "do whatever it takes to destroy Android." Making Office an iPad-exclusive offering would give consumers even fewer reasons to choose Google's tablets. My guess is we'll hear an official announcement on this partnership in the coming weeks.
"What if… (Office for iPad edition)"
And this would be a win-win: In the '90s, "Microsoft had to scratch and think before making Office for the Mac," assuming it wouldn't sell more than a couple million copies a year to Apple users, says Dan Frommer atSplatF. This time around, it's a no brainer. For Apple, it means being able to say "the iPad runs the world." For Microsoft, it means "potentially tens of millions of Office buyers." It's clear that "Microsoft cares about remaining the go-to office suite. To do that though, it must now support the iPad."
"iPad + Office + Apple + Microsoft: Why it all makes sense"
Huh? This would be huge mistake: How would making Office iPad-only help Microsoft? says Preston Gralla at Computerworld. "Windows is no longer Microsoft's cash cow, and if Microsoft is to succeed, it needs to compete on all platforms." Android is still the most popular mobile operating system out there, and bringing Office to Google's platform gives Microsoft more customers, and could actually help fight off Google Docs. Google may well be "Public Enemy #1 at Microsoft," but it would still be a mistake to diss Android.
"Office on the iPad release shows Microsoft's #1 enemy is Google, not Apple"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- What the collapse of the Ming Dynasty can tell us about American decline
- Why is it so expensive to build a bridge in America?
- Here's proof that Justin Bieber is just as spoiled as you always thought
- Why is American internet so slow?
- The GOP must try to win over African-Americans
- 7 ways to be the most interesting person in any room
- What would a U.S.-China war look like?
- 22 TV shows to watch in 2014
Subscribe to the Week