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237

Office for iPad may be unveiled next week, beating out Windows 8.1 version

iPad

You can let us in on your dirty little secret. You or someone you care about has an iPad. That’s ok. While we may prefer Microsoft’s Surface 2, the iPad is a solid tablet alternative to those wanting a great device with high quality apps. Microsoft may be adding to those apps when it’s alleged to announce Office for the iPad on March 27.

Microsoft has schedule a press briefing in San Francisco for March 27. A handful of days before the company will be in town for Build 2014. The March 27th press event is expected to have CEO Satya Nadella on stage to take the wraps off of Office for iPad.

The information comes from Mary Jo Foley on her All About Microsoft blog on ZDNet. Several of her sources have indicated that the event will finally see the unveiling of a truly touch focused Office suite. Though that touch version of Office is coming the iPad and not as a Windows 8 style app, at least not yet.

Office for iPad, codenamed ‘Miramar’, has long been rumored as a product in development within Microsoft. Office for Windows 8, codenamed ‘Gemini’, is also in development. Last summer at Build 2013, Microsoft gave a sneak peek of the metro version of PowerPoint. So why are you going to touch Word and PowerPoint on your iPad before you can do that on your Surface?

The iPad version of Office might have been in development longer than the Windows 8 version. Rumors suggest that Microsoft originally had hoped to launch Office on the iPad and Windows 8 at the same time. Recently however, Microsoft executives had a change of heart and would rather get Office out on the iPad sooner than wait for the Windows 8 version to be finished.

The March 27th event will be livestreamed. We’ll see about attending the event in person, but we’ll definitely be watching the feed and keeping you all in the loop. We could also see Microsoft launch more changes to Office at this event, like the upcoming Office 365 Personal edition.

Office is certainly serviceable on the Surface 2 on the desktop, though we’d rather have a version of Office that’s super friendly to touch.

Happy with Office on your Surface 2 or would you rather see a native Windows 8 app?  

Source: ZDNet

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Reader comments

Office for iPad may be unveiled next week, beating out Windows 8.1 version

237 Comments

Maybe this is the smart thing to do... but it feels like an admission of defeat.

I suppose there could still be an impetus to buy a Windows tablet if Office is free on those... while one has to pay for it on iPads & Androids.

That is the final straw for me. I can no longer help, defend, suggest, or anything else regarding Microsoft since they as a company continue to show more support for there competitors than they do for their own devices. I guess Xbox will be next; congratulations Sony.

Microsoft is a services company, and sadly, the fact is that there are more iPads out there than Surfaces. However, with a Surface, or a number of other tablets, you have Office built in, without paying for it. So sure, it could have come, it probably still will, but you can still do more on the Surface RT (or 2) than you can on an iPad, and that's without the help of apps.

Zulfigar,

You are correct. Microsoft is a service company, and Microsoft is showing they believe more in another companies service and products than they do their own. As for what you can and can not do with a Surface, be it whatever version of Surface you want, compared to an iPad that is another area Microsoft keeps failing. I have seen people on YouTube do better demonstrations on what the Surface is capable of doing than Microsoft has done with any of their commercials. Whoever is doing the advertisement for Microsoft regarding the Surface should be fired. The first commercial to appear is a bunch of people dancing around with a Surface to show it is cool? That first commerical should have been showing how to use the Surface, and why I, the consumer, should pick it over any other tablet.

Sadly the list is very long for I could go on about how Xbox Video doesn't sync across devices, so if I watch a show on my computer, stop it half way through, close the Xbox Video app, and then load the same episode on a Windows 8 tablet it starts the episode over again because it does not register where I last left off. Netflix does not have this problem. Then there is Xbox Music, Syncing Windows Phone 8 photos to the OneDrive (what a cluster f*ck that is); if I do enable the sync I duplicate folders with one set being the photos/folders on my phone and the other being the exact same photos/folders on the OneDrive to let me know they have been synced. There is also the crappy sync application for the desktop to the phone; seriously? Then there is the whole problem with the WP8s not even being ready for enterprise. We have to wait for over a year and a half for this feature? Windows Mobile running the Windows CE is still a far superior OS when it comes to features and functions than WP7 and WP8.

This is not Microsoft's first time, and the Windows Mobile was better, so as a "service" company they are failing and failing hard to support their own products. I honestly can not see why I should buy Microsoft products when I can go to Android or iPhone and get better Microsoft products on those devices.

People seem to have forgotten, to take the old cliche, that Rome was not built in a day. Android was not an over-night hit as well, and the only reason why the iPhone was able to pick-up moment as fast as it did is because Apple was the first company since Compaq, with their iPaq device, to create an aesthetically pleasing device with an OS that was simple and contained a phone. It freaking looked nice.

Sad, but true. Microsoft are the only ones that at the moment could easily spread through mobile phones, tablets, PCs, laptops and TV etc. at home and the same again at work, inclusive the machinery in the shop, even the newest power stations are controlled with Windows. Google (and iOS for that matter) comes close, but are lacking many parts of the puzzle.

BTW I still have my iPaq with the Tom-Tom navigator on it :-D The only thing is, the battery is a goner.

Huh? My surface rt came with office out of the box over a year ago, as did my surface 2. Ya its not the most touch friendly, but its free, full and doesn't require a subscription. The iPad one is rumored to be like the iPhone one, requiring an office 365 subscription. Also, the iPhone office isn't that great. Gemini, the touch friendly version of office for windows 8, is supposed to be a full fledged office replacement; these two products are very different. Also, this isn't meant to give a Microsoft os alternative, you still need windows for full office. This is just providing additional options to office 365 subscribers; you can't honestly ignore the entire market as a software company (especially if the product in question is one of your big 16 $billion+ products).

This is a highly competitive area, box, google docs, evernote etc. Many cross-platform. To compete MS must become cross platform.

There will winners and losers but with this move MS stands a better chance.

The revenues will support the MS ecosystem. Better this than no Office at all, imho.

Typical. I am struggling to understand how these "more customers" using Microsoft's FREE services are helping Microsoft?

MS just sees as there are so few WP/W8 users it won't really matter if we complain if not. They just want that ios money.

Because if they're not using Office, they'll be using some other service, which means Microsoft loses customers and has less money. People are begging for Office on the iPad. Would you rather they be using Google Docs or iWork?

Exactly. More the merrier I say! Even if its on a non MS based device, they're still getting branding out there and building customers, which is important.

It definitely stinks and I wish MS would service thier own products first or at least at the same time. The benefit I see however(though again I wish MS products took precedence) is that with IWork being free on Apples devices(and Google productivity suite free on Android) MS over time would begin to have thier virtual monopoly, in regards to a productivity suite eroded as the millions of iPad (and Android) users began to find thier ecosystems offerings serviceable in the persistent absence of the industries preferred Productivity Suite-Office. Microsoft has the advantage now in that Office has mindshare and is preferred by most. Apple is intent on changing that perception- by offering thier product free for all those millions of young, old, middle age iPad personal and business users and making compatibility greater with Office. Microsoft was in a tough spot. Office and Xbox are thier strong brands. Unfortunately everything that they produce is not as highly favored in the market. They need to keep their strong brands, Office in this case, in the face of users who are being strongly courted with alternatives.

You already have office on all MS devices so the new version that will require Office365 on competitor hardware is a smart move if you consider the iPad market share. And when we get it we won't be required to have a Office 365 account to use it. Its a win win.

Only certain Windows devices get office for free - RT and Intel Atom devices, everyone else has to pay so there is certainly not that much of an advantage for Windows users when it comes to Office.

I have an iPad 4 but I use my Dell Venue 8 Pro for everything and I haven't used my iP4 for any length of time since December.

I've used Office 2013 on the Venue 8 Pro a lot.

The Office division is pretty much an entity of their own. They need to go where the market share is and where they are threatened the most. I too would like to see a better version of Office on Windows 8 and Windows Phone, but if I worked on Office I would have been pressing for this. They have one shot to get it right, so it's probably going to be worth the wait. At least now I won't have to log into my seldom used Gmail account just to open a spreadsheet someone is sharing with me. I would probably even smile if someone sent a share link to an Office doc that ended with " sent from my iPad"

Wait, somebody explain to me how this is going to help windows tablets. I used to tell people that the iPad isn't as productive as windows tablets because it lacks full Office. Now what am I supposed to tell them?

It's not going to sell more Windows tablets. It's going to sell more Office.
I'm not sure the productivity argument was right unless you are comparing a non-RT Windows tablet with an iPad. Then the differentiator is obvious. With RT, I enjoy the better user experience of the OS and multi-tasking...but more than that I like not having a iPad. :)

Oh right, sorry I meant RT. Yes, I really like the multitasking, but another thing some windows tablets have is the digitizer support. The capacitive stylus for the iPad or any regular tablet is just far inferior in every way to those wacom pens with pressure sensitivity, not to mention palm rejection. But yes, I also like not having an iPad or iPhone.

The productivity argument still exists, and is still in full tilt.  Office alone can't improve the productivity of the iPad.  They already have the ability to create Word and Excel docs.  The prductivity of the Surface tablets is in the flexibility of tablet and laptop-like ability.  The iPad still doesn't have mouse support, nor a keyboard with portablity and usability/comfort on par with the type cover.  There are some good keyboards, but the width of the Surface makes it uncramped and comfortable, with a fully functioning trackpad. Plus, you need app integration for file movement/sharing on an iPad. Nothing local. Printer support? better have Air Print or something similar.  An iPad is not as efficient at productivity tasks as a Surface.  Just isn't.

Stick with iPad, iPhones be I think if this keeps happening then I will be getting an iPad and iPhone for sure since it works better than Windows 8, given then experiences I've had and is having still.

You are supposed to tell them that office comes for free on Surface rt while it will cost a office 365 subscription on the ipad.

I dont know if you have used office on the iphone but lets just say its like giving away adobe reader....and from what Ive read its going to be very similar.  This way if you want the real office experience get a windows 8.1 or RT tab.

What do you mean? Both Windows RT and Windows Pro tablets already have latest available Office 2013 running on them. Personally I'd like to see further touch-optimized Office for Win tablets, but with little help of digitizer pen, Office is very usable on my ThinkPad Tablet 2.

Additionally, MS has sort of tradition of releasing Office for Windows and Office for Mac separately - there was Office 2010 for Win, followed by Office 2011 for Mac, followed with Office 2013 for Win... so there should be new Office for Mac and/or iPad coming out anyway.

Business as usual?

Because there are many more consumers who use ipads right now compared to the number of people who use windows tablet devices

That doesn't matter. If you don't treat your platform as a first class citizen, why should anyone else? At the very least, release on your platform and ipad on the same day. Don't release months after you released it on the ipad.

As a vendor, all platforms are first class citizens. As a strategy, iPad is tens of millions of potential install bases. You go where the customers are. Certainly, if a Win 8 version was ready, they'd ship it. But you don't hold back a product to give another a mythical advantage. Doesn't make business sense.

Cause you might anger the millions of people already invested in the WP/Windows 8 ecosystem that chose the platform on the basis they would probably get Microsoft-related programs first. Otherwise, why stay with it when you can get it elsewhere?

But we HAVE Office for WP and Windows. Just because a Win 8-specific version isn't available doesn't keep anyone from using it if they want. And I didn't choose this platform because I thought I'd get preferential treatment from Microsoft. I got it because I like their product.

Customers who already have the " real" Office and not a watered down/Modern version. It will be a long time, regardless of platforms, before Modern Office will have features parity with the Desktop one.

Well its not as if they really need to release it now and cant wait for the Windows touch version to be ready. Its just clearly the office division is keen on the ipad, and they couldnt give a toss about the rest of Microsoft.

Or its the usual cycle. Office for Apple, 2010. Office for Windows 2013.

Plus, waiting for 8.1 update for my beautiful Surface

Why what? You already have free office on RT for nearly two years and there's beautiful Office 2013/365 on desktop computers. So what's the moaning all about?

How would they charge for this on the iPad? Would it require 365, or would it be a one time ~$120 purchase?

You can't get that on an iPad (as an iPad sized app) i don't believe - this will be an iPad specific version tailored for the larger screen

How terribly frustrating. I've been a wp/w8 adopter from the start. Its silly how non MS products get their shit first. If it wasn't for wp8.1 on the horizon, id probably ditch windows phone.

Sadly, yes. I've got an upgrade waiting in the wings to burn for a new WP 8.1 handset (assuming they offer some significant advantage over my 920). If 8.1 sucks I am going to have to give serious thought to burning it for a flagship Android phone instead.

Surprised with the amount of friends I'm making. Same here. Been a WP fan since the Lumia 800 days but enough is enough. The waiting game was fun at first but it just drags.

All these years I can't even share files with my clients on Skype. 

It may be a small thing for other users, but it ain't for me when most my clients are living in Skype. I just can't tell them to "Whatsapp me". 

Owned by MS, big base for business, no file sharing. Brilliant.

Kind of a no-brainer to go after a market you are not in yet. There's Office on every windows phone, and its non-touch form is available on Windows desktop and Mac OS X. The only thing missing is a native touch Office suite.

They tried to make Office 2013 more touch friendly, but the hotspots are still too small and it seems like it's difficult to edit text with touch input. I'm betting the next version of Office will have more touch-oriented changes.

No worries, the geniuses at Microsoft know what they're doing, this'll be like the Nokia x, and sometime, somewhere, in the future in a galaxy far, far away this will be good for Windows! /s

What a bunch of clowns. And they wounder why they aren't gaining any market share fools. Should have got this out on there own eco system then let apple sweat for a few months and then release it at a stupid price.

but the grow effect will be bigger on pushing the own plattform

- skydrive, on ios the people use icloud

- outlook.com, on ios the people use icloud/me

- bing, on ios the people use google or in the near future apples own service

- maps, on ios the people use ios maps or google maps

- windows as a plattform, on ios the people dont use windows (it gets less important, on tablets its irrelevant)

 

Yes the office widespread isnt bad but when i look at the whole service catalog i dont get it

Windows 8 sells more than twice the number of units per month than iPads, and is close to the number of iPhones and iPads combined.

Microsoft supporting other platforms first then their own. It's something we're getting used to. Pretty pathetic if you asked me.

Right with you smooth dog
I think the boys in Redmond aren't serious at all when it comes to competing, just seeing this article makes me want to switch. Here I am making everyone I know switch to wp8 and they pull this crap. Wow! Amazing.

They don't know how to be serious... Let's hope that Satya hates this idea, and this is the last time he will let something like this happen... It's like being a Dallas Cowboys fan...

Well, if this Modern\Touch version of Office will be as Modern OneNote..... It will not be a big deal. It is also rumored that the Metro version of Office will not include, at least initially, Outlook...

The desktop version of office is just perfect. I personally don't have a pressing need to have a touch friendly version of office at the moment. I kinda need my mouse and keyboard for office at the moment. However, I think it is a great strategy that Microsoft addressed the iPad. It is important that even the Apple folks see office as the default standard for doc, pres and spreadsheet manipulation. Excellent news for Microsoft.

Please don't be concerned about folks choosing the iPad because it now has "every app". The fact remains that they will be using Microsoft services. I expect that in order to use office on the iPad that a Microsoft account will be required and therefore OneDrive could quickly become the standard, relegating DropBox to "has been" status.

Finally, I still do expect surface products to have there day as 8.1 and 9.0 make their way into the enterprise.

Well said. These other people seem to forget that MS is a software and services company first. IPad/iPhone are essentially dell, Lenovo, Asus, basically OEM and MS is giving them service/software as they give the above oem the windows OS. Its all about market share and for ms to make money to continue the development and betterment of the windows ecosystem, this move is a necessary evil. Simple Business.

Microsoft is so disappointing... Why not support their ecosystem first?? Ughhhh... If they keep doing that then how in the world will Windows and Windows Phone gain some market share???

Office on WP is pretty basic and lackluster.... if this doesn't change, Microsoft may have a big Problem withbusiness Users and Students, who rely on that kind of stuff on a daily basis. For the sake of Microsoft, I hope they'll address that with WP 8.1. And Office for iPad launching before the RT version for Windows 8, srsly that simply shows how uncoordinated MS is internally. One Microsoft won't get you anywhere, when coordination between your Platform-Teams is still not present (skype,office, etc.).

Exactly exactly exactly. Office on WP sucks. Simple. The only real use is to double check something in a document - essentially just a viewer.

 

And don't get me started about not being able to attach Office documents to an existing email thread... SMH...

Businesses and students would be using a Surface or PC as well, the WP is an addition and is very well integrated into all services.

Storing on SkyDrive and sending a link is just a workaround to one of the most basic functions of what email is designed to handle - sending files with your message. I don't want to send a link every time I need to quickly attach a document. On top of this, the method you mention (which granted works fine) is not at all intuitive.

 

To your second point - the lack of features in Office for Windows RT makes Windows RT an absolute no-go for me as my business needs for Office require those excluded features. It all really depends on the user and their needs. Some people that use an application for it's most basic tasks - sure, Windows RT is fine. For a business user that uses any of the applications beyond their most basic functions needs full Windows for full Office. Office for Windows Phone is a joke in my opinion and simply functions as a viewer with MINOR editing capabilities. Granted I don't expect my phone to offer the full feature set in Office for desktop but it IS NOT something they can rely on in marketing as a major tool for business users. Simply is not true.

Why would there be? They want people using their products and if in the future they reduce or eliminate windows pricing on the consumer side it won't make a lick of difference what people are using for their machine, as long as their using Office.

Simply logic. It's a service and if they can expand markets, they have every right. In the long term, this is only positive - more cash generation, means more money to invest in Windows / WP / services and quality. Cathering to one of the biggest players with your services is a good thing. I know a lot of people that are dying for Office on their iPad. In the long term this is pure business.

The idea is that if said person needed Microsoft Office bad enough, they'd ditch their iPad (which DOESN'T have Office) for a Surface (which DOES have Office). That's pretty simple logic to me. If you don't give people a reason to switch, they're not going to. Just having quality hardware isn't enough anymore.

Lol!!!!!..... No, no they won't... We can't get Google products on WP, but MS will put Windows products not only on Android, but on Android first!!... Pretty pathetic if you ask me..

It really is... skype on WP is a joke compared to Android or iOS. We still cannot send any kind of filetypes. Sad.

Google would rather play petty games than generate revenue and expand market share (in the name of the people /s). Microsoft is a business and generating revenue is what they do. Eventually Googles board will take notice.

So its now confirmed that Microsoft doesnt care about its own users and products.They dont take an initiation to improve its eco system and go on improving others no matter if other platforms are just giving a fuck to Windows and WP..

So will Office for iPad be for 365 users only? Because otherwise Microsoft is about to kill any chance Windows tablets have at breaking through. On WP you could argue that having Office isn't a big benefit. But on tablets it's a massive feature. At my university there are a lot of Surface users who got their Surface RT when there was a discount deal for students. And now I'm starting to see a lot of Surface 2 users as well. From what I can tell having Office is a massive selling point. if it becomes available on iPad for any user then I fear the worst for Windows tablets.

Keep in mind that Office on Surface, at least theorically, is for personal\school use and you are not supposed to use it for anything related to business; this Office will probably be,like Modern OneNote, a lightweight edition compared to the regular one.

But the majority of office-related work done on tablets is light work. Stuff like taking notes during class, rewritting your papers, etc. You write it in word on your tablet and you can continue work on your PC. This is the unique selling point. I fear any benefit the Surface has over the iPad would be gone (in the eyes of most consumers). The keyboard click is nice but not a reason to buy one over an iPad. And when you consider the apps available on iPad + office, its an easy choice for most.

Don't want an iPad, wont buy an iPad.

Very happy with my Surface and when I upgrade it will be a Surface.

Seeing as this is all speculation and nobody even knows what this iPad version is like - it may well be almost identical to the RT version we've had FOREVER - I don't see the point in shedding tears over this.

Why are so many people here getting their knickers in a twist over Microsoft releasing this on iOS first!?! If you're a Windows fan and you need/use Office, you already have it on every Windows device you own. Getting a Metro version is just icing on the cake! The more Microsoft spread on other ecosystems, the more mind share they'll win, which will be great for all of us! Start bitching if when they release Office for Metro, it's not as good as the iOS version. Until then, just be happy that Microsoft is infiltrating other platforms by stealth!

How will this be "great for all of us"? Are we part of a Microsoft hive mind that obtains satisfaction from knowing the platform we bought is catered to last but ios gets preferential treatment? Really curious to know how this benefits any Windows or WP user, ios and android users have shunned Microsoft products for years, why will moves like this make any difference?

The point is...not the not existent metro version is not as good as the ios version...there is just no good touchfriendly microsoft office on the microsoft operating system

So we have a "not as good as the iOS version" at the moment microsoft releases the iOS version and not the ModernUI version. All windows tablet users face a much worse experience than the iOS users...so why choose Microsoft plattform when you get first class apps first on other plattforms? Why should they switch to the worse windows plattform experience?

Yes it makes sense that microsoft spreads to other plattforms but they should definitly deliver at any time the best experience first(!) on their own plattform (or even at the same time). From developer view, they see how microsoft acts, why should they adopt the windows plattform first or on time with others while microsoft itself doesnt do it? It`s all the outside effect...

What a bunch of short-sighted, fan based comments. Think ahead, people... Many very smart people think a touch-friendly Office should have been available for iPad for years now... I am one of them. This is a good move by Microsoft.

Seems more to me like it's a "good move" for ipad users. Care to explain how this is good for MS (be it immediately good or in the long run)?

This is a highly competitive area, google docs, box, evernote etc.
This is about revenue because if MS are not successful, others will be and you can say goodbye to Office on anything.
The revenue will support the MS ecosystem

Personally I prefer Office being on the Desktop, I mean when you do real Office work, you'll have multiple windows open at the same time, a document on one side, a powerpoint, maybe another document & Excel, how can you do that on an iPad, or especially on a Surface ..and no split-screen is not the solution to that, only possible through the Desktop! Although we're all worrying about Office for iPad remember, anyone who thinks you can seriously be productive on an iPad, or any tablet minus keyboard and mouse are living in the wrong world, it's literally impossible.

What if MS is planning to unveils the WP8.1 dev preview too on the March 27th press event?, taking us all by surprise!!

(To much faith?)

xD

Doesn't much matter to me. All my Windows devices has Office.  My interest is with Build 2014 and WP 8.1.

That's it! I give up! I will just go use Amazon's forking android os. Take that Apple. Take that Microsoft. Take that Google. Ha, ha, ha!

I dont get it...

really no hate on iPad or any other plattform but Microsoft wants to push own System but when i look backward a year or 2, major Microsoft Services didnt show up on their own systems or are worse than on the competitors platform

- Skype, it was never really usable on WP7 but it was and is on old Androids and iOS versions...unbelievable and there will be no(!) further update

- Remotedesktop, Android got it (Tablet + Smartphone), iOS got it (Tablet + Smartphone), Windows got it only on Tablet...wtf Microsoft? They promised to bring it but its a very very very very late game

- Office for Touch, again, iOS will get it before Windows RT or 8.1 on Tablet. Are they serious to "boost" their own plattform? The enterprise wanted to switch to windows 8/rt tablets cause of office...but now the better tablet office is availible on ios!

All the cool stuff will be first on other plattforms than on Windows plattforms even Microsofts own services and apps. I really like Windows (even 8/8.1) and Windows Phone but i question myself why i should choose it (and recommend it!), even if its a good system, iOS and MAC OS is good, too and i get all the cool new stuff earlier than on windows...so why does Microsoft do anything to drown their own ecosystem?

Can someone share my thoughts?

not to evaluate who is right...but do you think its good for the microsoft plattform(s) when you look at the feedback of the people which actually use microsoft plattforms (i think most of the posters here are users of ms plattforms)

Realistically how much longer do you think Microsoft continues to sell their OS to consumers? Looks to me they are phasing that side of the business out over the long run, it just doesn't make sense to sell what people use your software on, just sell the software.

the first part i agree

the second i dont agree

The microsoft palttform pushes the enterprise segment windows server, collaboration and groupware services (exchange, sharepoint, even system center). If microsoft starts to just sell their software for plattform x, the integration level is like any other software products and its often horrible...this is the way ibm has done with their tivoli and tivoli is a mess in point of usability more than notes/domino which arent good (and the integration of this software omg). At the end, microsoft is successfull cause the people know it from home...thats the way how ipads entered enterprise business, the people loved it at home and it was brought to the business (not the business requested it)

I dont think this is a good idea to drop their plattform

Office for iPad = embedded Safari browser opening up to live.office.com, looool. All jokes aside, Microsoft really doesn't even know loyalty to itself, and its time and time again. They make it seem like the old Microsoft is out and in with a focused Microsoft, but its all typically Microsoft really; great products they don't stand by. I'm sure though that this will need an Office 365 subscription or it will be a really watered down office. Still, can't imagine doing heavy work on a screen that small, attempting to do it on a Surface is already tons of effort.

I'm happy with Office the way it is however on the Surface RT there should be a Metro version for UX sake. I have completely ditched the damn useless Start Screen on my PC but on the Surface it would help if I could get a touch version of office since it's more practical and the mousepad in the Type Cover 2 sucks big time.
The fact that the iPad gets it first (and we'll see if Android won't get it first too...) is just a terrible sign from Microsoft regarding commitment to their own platforms.

What are the guys and girls at Microsoft doing all day? Working on plans how to disappoint their most loyal customers? I have 2 windows phones, a windows notebook, a surface pro 2 and a xbox but i begin to wonder if MS is the right company for me. So many strange decisions.

They need to take down all their ads about their Surface being more productive now..  God.  I hope they charge them a subscription fee or something.  If they do this, there is literally no reason for people who are blinded by Apple to get a windows tablet.  I can just hear the employees at Bestbuy saying : "Oh yeah it has office now and it has more apps, you should just get the ipad over the Surface." 

Surface is still more productive, because it has a fully-featured Office rather than a diluted touch-only one, and it has snapped views.

Yeah I suppose, but I feel like they can't really cripple office too much, else people wont want to use it.  Also, not too many people are aware of the difference, they'll just see office and be like, oh must be the same on all platforms.

Well compare OneNote touch app to the desktop RT version. The touch one is great, and never feels crippled, but if you have the desktop RT version it's a lot more powerful. I agree on the interpretation, but that only takes a 30 second demo to convince someone.

I work at Best Buy and I am a Microsoft consultant. I know for a fact it will now be harder for me to sell a surface over an iPad. In the end I think Microsoft sees it as a win win situation. Buy our surface or subscribe. They seem to push 365 a lot.

Unfortunately, some customers listen to salespersons, who recommend their own bias, and some research a bit. I bought a Surface RT and when I show it to people who bought blah or blah, because the salesperson recommended it, they will research more next time to get what THEY want. Takes time...

Windows 8.1 already has it! I don't understand why a diluted touch-only edition is being recognized over a fully-featured touch-friendly one?

I never found the Office 2013 suite to be unfriendly for touch...even back on the Surface RT. There's even a button in the top bar that brings out it's touch optimized features.

Just by the fact iPad operates off a much more restrictive file system means that it isn't capable of being as good, so no reason for envy.

I think it's too late they already lost a whole generation of ios users but this move will bring more users to MS services if it works well just like bing for ipad which was in my opinion even better than bing website!!

This is a wise move. From a business sense, I get exactly why there releasing a touch version of Office on an iPad first. There's millions more iPads out there. That's just tue hard truth. I LOVE my Surfaces, but can't deny that there's is alot of money to be made by releasing Office on the iPad. The longer you wait the more people find alternatives. U would be shocked if its free (not just for a promotional time), but for its entirety. That's probably a long shot. Having OneNote, Skype etc etc free isn't a big deal. I'm sure the core apps will come with a price for a single use or if you have 365, just adding that device. Even if people feel this hurts their Surface sales (and it won't), its a huge market to tap into. You may get the people who have sold iPads to get a Surface with Office (I have dealt with those), but most of the time consumers aren't giving up their iPad. Mind as well, offer what they need and get more revenue streaming in. All I hope for with MS and Office, is that the Surface continues to have a more deeply integrated platform for their services. If so, there's no worries about where their priorities stand. I for one won't be jumping back to an iPad because of Office, there's for more reason why I ditched my for a Surface.

The key word is consumers MIGHT switch to a surface. MIGHT to me is the same as" Up To". So you could win up to a $1 million just like you might get iPad consumer to switch to surface. Lastly if you had no intention of really adding hardware to your resume you should not produce these BS devices only falsely misleading honest consumers into buying your one Microsoft BS.

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