Is Microsoft looking to bring Office to the iPhone?

Is Microsoft looking to bring Office to the iPhone?

Summary: I am pretty excited about the iPhone 2.0 upgrade for a couple of reasons. I use a hosted Exchange service to keep all of my devices and other computers (UMPC and MacBook Pro) updated with my latest contact, calendar, and task data so finally having this on my iPhone will let me stop performing the Entourage, iCal, iTunes shuffle. I am also a 3rd party application fan on my mobile devices and look forward to seeing what software becomes available in June. I read today on the Cnet News.com Beyond Binary blog that Microsoft has been playing with the iPhone SDK and is considering a version of Office for the iPhone.

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Is Microsoft looking to bring Office to the iPhone?I am pretty excited about the iPhone 2.0 upgrade for a couple of reasons. I use a hosted Exchange service to keep all of my devices and other computers (UMPC and MacBook Pro) updated with my latest contact, calendar, and task data so finally having this on my iPhone will let me stop performing the Entourage, iCal, iTunes shuffle. I am also a 3rd party application fan on my mobile devices and look forward to seeing what software becomes available in June.

I read today on the Cnet News.com Beyond Binary blog that Microsoft has been playing with the iPhone SDK and is considering a version of Office for the iPhone. This is interesting since I read that DataViz is working to bring their excellent Documents To Go solution to the iPhone and they have years of experience developing for mobile devices. I think Microsoft may want to hold off on pursuing this too much since there may be other 3rd party developers with expertise in the mobile market targeting this area as well.

After reading the Fortune article, I think people are reading too much into what was said regarding Office for the iPhone. It really just sounds like they are looking at the SDK and trying to see if there is anything they can come up with to get a piece of the iPhone pie. As long as some other mobile Office developers have been at it getting their products just right, I doubt Microsoft could come up with something that great in the next few months.

Topics: Microsoft, Collaboration, iPhone, Mobility, Software

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14 comments
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  • Why not?

    I don't' see why not. It only strengthens their brand when more devices support their format.
    ZenMasta
    • Due to lack of expertise...

      Per the article, Microsoft lacks expertise in creating mobile applications. He's doubtful (and so am I) that Microsoft could come up with anything decent in a few months.

      If they do, great! Really - it would show that they are able to innovate. Though history tells us that they can't.

      -Mike
      SpikeyMike
  • RE: Is Microsoft looking to bring Office to the iPhone?

    Why not? MS has the developers and the money. MS should make an awesome iPhone Office coversion for one reason; foil the whole "GPhone thing". Office and exchange on the iPhone would kill the whole "GPhone thing" before it starts. An iPhone with MS Office AND Flash would be a win win win for Apple, MS AND Adobe. Apple, MS and Adobe need to "gang up" on Google before Google can do more evil. IMHO
    tyuiopgrr
  • Rather see iWorks myself.....

    Makes sense as well. iWorks can import and export to Office
    formats. iWorks is a slimmer more Mac like environment and
    I'd think it would be easier to bring to the iPhone for a host
    of reasons.

    Pagan jim
    James Quinn
  • The Death Of Windows Mobile

    It's finally coming true!!!
    itanalyst2
    • The Death Of Brain Cells? Come on now.

      When has Microsoft passed up an avenue to make money?

      Plus, placing Office on the iPhone as well as Windows Mobile may leave Linux OS phones the "not for business consideration" market.
      GuidingLight
    • And not a moment too soon

      Just goes to show you that people will only tolerate crap for so long.
      DarthRidiculous
      • Which is why not many people

        put much stock in your posts?

        I found it works really well
        GuidingLight
    • You must be thinking of Palm.. lol

      Windows Mobile 6 was rewritten to remove a all the legacy limitations with the exception of the crazy problem that closing programs only closes the UI and does not terminate the process. Fortunately there nice 3rd party apps to fix that.

      Realistically, if you add an accelerometer to a windows mobile device and have the screen auto rotate to landscape plus get the opera browser on there (if the opera guys ever finish it) you'll have something way better than an iPod Touch / Phone.
      croberts
      • Thanks for the laugh.

        You've obviously never used an iPhone. Set the two side by
        side and there is absolutely no comparison. Just the font
        rendering engine in the iPhone blows Windows Mobile out of
        the water, not to mention the smoothness and speed and
        richness of the GUI.

        This time next year, Windows Mobile devices will be following
        the Palm to the ash heap of history. You can make book on
        it.
        frgough
  • RE: Is Microsoft looking to bring Office to the iPhone?

    Ultimately, as a computer user, I want any application that I use on a regular basis to sync with multiple applications. In Montana, we cannot use the iPhone's yet, but the iTouch is a viable option. I will not have to carry multiple items and sync all of them.... This application would help within the business community.
    BEGilleo
  • RE: Is Microsoft looking to bring Office to the iPhone?

    Maybe MS could create a decent version of Office for the Mac first. Office 2008 is not the upgrade I was hoping for.
    MNVader
  • Step on it Microsoft!

    cant wait for MS to do it. So far i can read my office documents on iPhone with my hyperoffice, would be real swell if i could edit them too!
    pankajunk
  • RE: Is Microsoft looking to bring Office to the iPhone?

    >I think Microsoft may want to hold off on pursuing this too much
    since there may be other 3rd party developers with expertise in the
    mobile market targeting this area as well.<

    Have you actually looked into what the iPhone and its development
    tools are all about? In case you missed it, the iPhone runs on a full-
    featured (albeit enhanced-for-mobile) version of Mac OS X. For
    Microsoft, most of the development has already been done in the
    form of the shiny, brand-spanking new Office 2008 for the Mac! A few
    tweaks for the iPhone platform, and they would practically be there.
    So your premise on this is simply wrong.

    About the only thing that might give Microsoft pause in this regard
    would be the cannibalization of their Windows Mobile platform and
    the restrictive version of Office that runs on it. Office for iPhone would
    be (or at least could be) much more robust, and could be fully
    integrated with the telephony functions of the platform -- how sweet
    would that be, eh?

    One other thought: remember how Office was developed in the first
    place on prototype Macs, and the nice, little "bonus" that Microsoft
    came away with from that project -- namely, the Windows operating
    system? It sure wouldn't surprise me to learn that Microsoft is very
    interested in the iPhone in order to do some serious reverse
    engineering!
    TCollinsG3