It may turn out to be one of the biggest squandered opportunities of Microsoft Corp. Tired of waiting for Office to be updated and optimized for their mobile devices, a rising contingent of younger companies are switching to simpler, cheaper and touch-friendly applications that can easily perform word processing and similar tasks within the cloud. For instance, a financial services startup based in New York, Artivest Holding Inc. sells investment products. The company is making use of an application called Quip that combines messaging and word processing for handling nearly all, but the most sensitive financial and legal files.
The Chief Investment Officer of Artivest, David Levine stated that Microsoft word documents are no longer being circulated as they have switched to Quip. He said it was a great benefit because he could easily view documents on his iPad and it wasn’t necessary for him to be tied to his desk, as in the case of Office. People with knowledge of the matter have stated that Microsoft is being forced to intensify its efforts for bringing the ageing and powerful Office software suite to smartphones and tablets because of the speed with which applications like Quip are being chosen by other companies.
The sources revealed that a full version of Office for iPad and the iPhone is ready for release. The only question left is when the trigger will be pulled by the Chief Executive Officer of the company Satya Nadella, who took over the software giant in February. Nadella wishes to expand the customer base of Office, but also wishes to maintain a balance with the flagship Windows franchise that reaps great benefits from its close integration with Office, especially on personal desktop computers. The top marketing executive of Office, John Case, stated that they had some exciting plans, but did not provide further details.
He added that there was a huge interest in Office on the iPad and customers would want it if they want to do any real work. For years, investors have been urging the company for adapting Office for mobile devices from Google Inc. and Apple Inc. as it is its most profitable product rather than sticking it just to Windows because PC sales are declining. Sources familiar with the matter have said that various investors of the company have voiced their misgivings about the continued absence of Office from mobile devices and tablets.
Analysts have also estimated that just by keeping Office off the iPad, which has sold over 200 million units; Microsoft is actually missing out on total revenue of $2.5 billion on a yearly basis. They are saying that Office is becoming disenfranchised because it is shackled to Windows and not introduced on other gadgets and it’s high time for the company to offer it independently to consumers. However, there are some analysts of the opinion that it might be too late for Microsoft to win over the iPad generation even if an Office suite optimized for mobile devices is introduced in the next few months.