iPad 3: One more thing

iPad 3: One more thing

Summary: Apple is unveiling the next iPad this week, and there is one app that could be announced that would set the tablet world on its ear.

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TOPICS: iPad, Apple, Mobility
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Only two more days until Apple is expected to unveil the next iPad, and there are as many predictions of what the "iPad 3" will have inside as there will be preorders the first weekend after the announcement. Speculation is running rampant over faster processors, beefier cameras, cheaper models, you name it, someone is predicting it will happen. I don't know what Apple might be planning for the hardware of the iPad 3, but I wouldn't be surprised if we hear about one thing in particular during the press event this week.

Rumors have been surfacing for a while about an iPad version of Microsoft Office, and I wouldn't be surprised if that is the "one more thing" at this week's announcement by Apple. Microsoft and Apple have a long-running collaboration for software on Apple hardware, and I believe it will spread to the iPad. What better time for both companies to announce this major product than the unveiling of the next generation of the iPad?

Microsoft has been clear it is supporting the iPad with its software products, the product line is simply too big to ignore. Office for iPad is coming, and it might be here sooner than anyone is expecting. The folks from Redmond could see Office for iPad become the bestselling app for the hottest tablet, a big coup for them.

Apple could milk this to good advantage too, especially as it is pushing hard to get the iPad into both the enterprise and the classroom. Lots of folks use Microsoft Office, and having an official version for the iPad can only be a good thing for Apple. It would also head off the upcoming explosion of Windows 8 tablets by getting Office on the iPad first.

The best part of an Office for iPad announcement for both Apple and Microsoft is the slap in the face it would give to Android. We already know Office is coming for Windows 8 tablets, and with the release for the iPad Android would be the only tablet platform without it.

That's why it makes sense for Office for iPad to debut this week on brand new hardware from Apple. The best office suite for the best tablet on the market. This would definitely be a big win for both Apple and Microsoft.

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Topics: iPad, Apple, Mobility

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39 comments
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  • ...

    What a tantalizing idea! Office on an iPad would seriously solidify Apple's presence in serious tablet-ing. I would love to consider the iPad as more than just a cool toy.
    Jly02
    • Too little, too late

      Microsoft Office for iOS will probably sell, but it's not really required at this point.

      Apple's exceptional iWork apps for the iPad and iPhone (Pages, Keynote, Numbers) are all MS Office compatible, and have much better usability than Microsoft's apps.

      In addition, there are other MS Office compatible apps and solutions for the iPad.

      There is no particular reason why anyone would need or want Microsoft's latecomer Office iPad apps at this point.
      Harvey Lubin
      • Hmmm

        While a Mac user myself, "exceptional" is not a word I would choose to use for Pages, Numbers, etc.

        It is an interesting effort. But it ISN'T Microsoft Office.
        Mac_PC_FenceSitter
      • Rose colored glasses?

        I'm typing this on a MBA and I would never use exceptional to describe iWorks on any platform, especially the iPad.

        Having said that, I'll reserve judgment on Office for iOS for when I actually get to see it.
        steveaaaaaa18
      • I respectfully disagree

        I love Pages and Keynote, but Numbers is not ready for prime time.
        use_what_works_4_U
      • Good but not great

        I use Pages and Numbers on both the Mac and the iPad. They most definitely serve their purpose and I have yet to run into a need to do something they can't. That being said I do prefer Word/Excel but that could just be due to far more experience with them. If Office for iOS was priced like iWorks and even better yet so that you could purchase the particular apps such as just Word versus the whole package that would be huge but if not iWorks will sure my needs just fine.
        non-biased
  • I am not sure this is exclusive

    I am not sure this is an exclusive feature or not, as Sony hinted at MS Office Goodness coming to the Tablet S when the ICS Update hits. I think this is more of MS trying to protect at least one of their product lines.
    slickjim
  • @Peter Perry, I could be wrong...

    However, I can't see MS developing Office for Android. They haven't written anything that I'm aware of for Linux to date, why should they start now with Android. Especially how they are doing what they can to hinder Linux and Android at every turn.
    Axsimulate
    • Simple

      Because Office is a big cash cow and they're making Office as a Service... With the move towards service based apps, you pretty much want to make sure it runs everywhere!

      However, they have released things like Hotmail, Bing Maps, and Bing Search for Android... Skype, only got video on Android after MS bought them. You see the pattern here? MS can either make money from these platforms or they can watch their markets disappear.

      Lets face it, iOS and Android control the new markets, Windows is really new to the game and struggling for even a little bit of headway.
      slickjim
      • @Peter Perry

        I stand corrected about no MS apps for Android, however as much as fuss MS has made in the past about Linux and Android, I still think the chances are slim. (I could be wrong) They could see this as an opportunity to give WinPhone a leg up over Android and hopefully get some market share they hoping for.
        Axsimulate
    • They do have apps on Android

      So you're wrong
      Michael Alan Goff
  • No Chance

    There isn't a snowball's chance of Apple announcing Office during their event. Apple offers the iWork suite of productivity applications for iOS and they are constantly on the top grossing charts of their app store. If Office does come out for iPad it will use the Windows Live Skydrive instead of Apple's iCloud service and would offer an experience in direct contrast to what Apple has been trying to create.
    ArgyleBandit
    • Are you kidding me?

      Do you remember Jobs Keynote back in the mid to late 90s? When they announced that MS Office would be back for the Macintosh? I don't see why you think they wouldn't do the same for the iPad version..
      slickjim
      • Different times

        Apple was fast sliding into irrelevance back then. Office was a lifeline that Apple was desperate to cling to. Things are different today. The iPad is crushing everyhting else in its path, and Office for the iPad would be, if anything, a lifeline to Microsoft whose corporate profits depend heavily on Office.
        dsf3g
      • They don't have a choice

        @dsf3g Apple would never risk being the only platform without MS Office... Talk about a death sentence in the corporate world... You would see MS Windows 8 and Android as the only corporate options for Mobile and Tablet based Systems.
        slickjim
    • To this day

      Apple promotes OS X's Microsoft Office compatibility, even at the expense of mentioning iWork. Apple considers Office a big deal, and yes, they absolutely would give it space to be mentioned (if it is coming.)

      Anyone who thinks otherwise hasn't been paying attention.
      Mac_PC_FenceSitter
    • What do you know about it!?!

      Oh come on, Microsoft and Apple have a LOOOONG history of announcing things together. I mean for the longest time the only software for the Mac was IE and Office, why would that change with iOS? Microsoft will sell a billion copies of Windows 8 (WOA!), and if the iPad does not have Office then it's sales will crash and burn. Everyone, I mean everyone, has been waiting to buy a windows tablet that doesn't suck and with Windows 8 that is coming.

      Listen, iWork is a cute little program, but it can't play ball in Office's court! I mean seriously, have you ever, in the history of the world read a single thing that was not created using Word? And mathematics would not be around without Excel. Without these two programs the iPad will always be a consumption device and NEVER a creation device, so do I think office will be announced on Wednesday? Heck ya!
      l33tChicken
      • Fanboy much?

        I think you just took fanboyism to the next level with that post :-(
        non-biased
    • Post PC

      @Peter Perry
      It's true, once long ago Apple needed Office to prove that the Macintosh was still a viable platform. Those days are over. We're living in the post PC world now and Apple doesn't need Microsoft anymore. Apple has achieved a huge level of success without any help from Microsoft.

      @rbethell
      Promoting office compatibility is just part of the sales pitch for iWork and is a long should from demoing a competitors product. This is a HARDWARE announcement and the only software that will be demoed will be software that showcases the new capabilities of the device.

      @l33tchicken
      I can only hope you're not serious. Microsoft Office hasn't been relevant since the ribbon. All signs are pointing to Office 15 for WOA still running in legacy Desktop mode (which is disabled for other WOA applications). There is no way Microsoft would announce a tablet Office for a iOS when it won't even run in tablet mode on their own OS.
      ArgyleBandit
    • Hmmmmmm

      To say "There isn't a snowball's chance..." is an attention getter, but unless you have insider knowledge, it doesn't have any merit.

      There is a lot of focus on the end user being your typical consumer, college kid, or teacher, but very large corporations have been incorporating tablets into the hands of their employees which includes all sectors including engineers. These people are used to using all facets of Microsoft's Office suite including the ability to automate their work using Microsoft's VBA backend. If IPad doesn't include this ability but Microsoft tablets do, then IPad will miss a very large market area.
      1ndy