The REAL secret behind Microsoft iPad Apps

The REAL secret behind Microsoft iPad Apps

Summary: Sometimes my fellow ZDNetters hit the mark and other times, like this one, reality seems to be something only shown on television.

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TOPICS: Microsoft, Apps, Software
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My ZDNet colleague, James Kendrick wrote, "Secret behind Microsoft iPad apps," but got it totally wrong. Sorry, James, but you're wrong on this one--way, way off, in fact. I know this because, like James, I started with Microsoft's earliest products including DOS, Windows 286 and so on. There's no need to battle it out over who has worked with their software the longer because there's no real contest--we both have our histories. It is my history with Microsoft products that allows me to say how far off base James' comments are.

James wrote:

"I believe the truth is a little more obscure, that Microsoft fears that the more consumers get exposed to alternative products on other platforms, the more they will desert the company’s flagship products."

BUZZZZZZZZZZ! Wrong.

First, Microsoft is a software company. It makes software for people to use. That is its sole purpose in life--to produce computer software.

Second, Microsoft is a business. Microsoft is in business to make money. Microsoft makes software and sells it to people and corporations. It makes money doing that.

Third, one of Microsoft's first commercial products was...wait for it...Microsoft Office...that ran on the...wait for it...MacIntosh. Crazy stuff there, huh? Nope, they're a software company that sells computer software to people--people with Macs, PCs, phones and tablets of all kinds.

It's pretty simple, really. No paranoia required or necessary. Microsoft isn't worried about anything--in particular, it isn't worried about losing marketshare for products that it already sells to the people that some believe would abandon them. That makes no sense to me.

Why would Apple users abandon Microsoft Office after more than 20 years? Good question. I'd love to hear the answer--or read it, as the case may be.

ZDNet's BTL, Larry Dignan, had a more realistic view with his, "Microsoft's iPad software barrage: Reality meets business savvy," where he states that, "Going forward Microsoft should go crazy on Android too. It should be on every platform that has a lot of users."

Yes, agreed. One more time, Microsoft builds iPad Apps because it is a software company that makes software that it sells to people with all kinds of computers.

End of story? We can only hope so.

No paranoia.

I now return you to your Angry Birds game, already in progress.

Topics: Microsoft, Apps, Software

About

Kenneth 'Ken' Hess is a full-time Windows and Linux system administrator with 20 years of experience with Mac, Linux, UNIX, and Windows systems in large multi-data center environments.

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29 comments
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  • Reminds me of an episode of House

    I learned about the medical meaning of "Zebra".

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zebra_(medicine)

    "When you hear hoofbeats behind you, don't expect to see a zebra"

    Thank you for the blog post. While wild unsupported speculation might get the clicks on ZDNet, is it worth the stain on your reputation?
    toddybottom
  • Commonality guys, come on!

    Obviously they have a common enemy now so expect more than some mutuality between the two.
    albionstreet
  • RE: The REAL secret behind Microsoft iPad Apps

    +1
    Ram U
  • 90% of Microsoft's revenue comes from Office and Windows. If anything

    ever happened to those two cash cows, MS would quickly become a small software house employing a few hundred people.
    baggins_z
    • RE: The REAL secret behind Microsoft iPad Apps

      @baggins_z Hence why it's not odd to put office on other platforms.
      Aerowind
    • RE: The REAL secret behind Microsoft iPad Apps

      @baggins_z Actually MS has more than just 2 Cash Cows Now and their Gaming Division is actually very big now... There's some speculation that Windows Phone / Windows 8 will be the next big product for MS but personally I think their Server Apps, Gaming, OS and Office Products are enough to sustain them for a very long time!
      slickjim
    • RE: The REAL secret behind Microsoft iPad Apps

      @baggins_z : I guess you never heard of SharePoint or Exchange then. Exchange has always been strong [how many companies use it? Lotus Notes may be dead in the water - rumour has it maybe no further development] and SharePoint has garnered quite a bit of success. And of course the gaming division [as Peter Perry said]. If you compare against others, Google wouldn't be around if they didn't have their ad business. Apple may not be around if their gadgets [iPhone, iPod, iPad] didn't exist.
      Gisabun
  • RE: The REAL secret behind Microsoft iPad Apps

    Everything said in this article was true a year ago, but a year ago Microsoft was not by all appearances actively developing for iPhone/iPad so this article doesn't really help us understand what has changed between then and now.
    anono
    • RE: The REAL secret behind Microsoft iPad Apps

      @anono <br>General Motors makes cars, trucks--vehicles in general. During war time, they made tanks and other war stuff too. Do you question them for changing with the times? And, if a company doesn't change with the times, they go out of business and I'm sure there would be people who'd say, "See? They didn't change with the times. They should've created mobile apps." There's just no pleasing everyone.
      khess
      • Please me (consumer)

        @khess
        1. Double the RAM on my iPad2
        2. MSOffice on Android and iOS

        Yes!!!
        rhonin
  • RE: The REAL secret behind Microsoft iPad Apps

    When Windows Mobile was selling, did Microsoft ever create apps for the BlackBerry platform? Or apps for Palm when they had their competing Pocket PC? <br><br>One thing I've learnt of the tech media is they tend to have amnesia when it comes to Microsoft. Yes Microsoft is a software company and yes there shouldn't be any questioning of their motives if they want to now put out iOS apps. But going off history, Microsoft have always kept their crown jewels for their own platform. MS Office is an exception.<br><br>If WP7 was selling well, rest assure that we wouldn't be seeing Microsoft (the software company) developing apps on any other platform.
    dave95.
    • RE: The REAL secret behind Microsoft iPad Apps

      @dave95.

      They developed for the Windows Mobile platform. What you're not understanding is that Microsoft has programmed products for Apple computers for a very long time so the fact that they're creating Apps for iPads shouldn't surprise anyone.
      khess
      • RE: The REAL secret behind Microsoft iPad Apps

        @khess

        You might also mention that before Microsoft did their deal with IBM for DOS, and even for some time thereafter, they made most of their money designing software for Apple computers. The relationship goes back a long a long way.
        jorjitop
    • RE: The REAL secret behind Microsoft iPad Apps

      @dave95.
      Wrong, they worked with RIM for blackberry to work with Microsoft products including exchange and office. They worked with Nokia for Symbian doing the same. You are totally wrong here.
      Ram U
    • Did you even bother to think this one through? If so, that's scary

      @dave95.
      "When Windows Mobile was selling, did Microsoft ever create apps for the BlackBerry platform? Or apps for Palm when they had their competing Pocket PC? "

      Why didn't you ask the next logical question: Did MS create apps for the Windows Mobile platform?

      There was no mobile Bing client on any device, there was no mobile hotmail client on any device, there was no mobile skydrive client on any device, there was a mobile mesh client for windows mobile that never got out of beta, there was no mobile xbox client on any device, the list goes on and on.

      One thing I've learned of Apple fanbois like you is they tend to have amnesia when it comes to Microsoft. You are lying (or ignorant) when you say that MS have always kept their crown jewels for their platform. Oh, except for Office which is their biggest product outside of Windows. Oh, and Exchange clients, probably their 2nd biggest product outside of Windows. Kind of weakens your point when you have to admit that MS has implemented their 2 biggest non Windows crown jewels for OSs other than their own. We could even bring up Active Directory protocol which they released to the world. To recap, other than Office, and Exchange access, and the Active Directory protocol, all the other crown jewels have been kept for Windows only. Kind of like saying "other than rape and murder and arson, I've never committed any serious crimes".

      I know you really want to those hoofbeats to be a Zebra but they aren't. It's just a horse. MS has never been serious about releasing mobile clients for any platform, including their own. The change has not been that they've switched from developing software for their mobile OS to developing software for other mobile OSs, the change has been that they've started developing mobile software period.
      toddybottom
      • RE: The REAL secret behind Microsoft iPad Apps

        @toddybottom

        I should've but couldn't have said it better myself.
        khess
      • RE: The REAL secret behind Microsoft iPad Apps

        @toddybottom
        +1
        Ram U
      • RE: The REAL secret behind Microsoft iPad Apps

        @toddybottom "Kind of like saying "other than rape and murder and arson, I've never committed any serious crimes"."

        Should've used the "What Have the Romans Ever Done For Us?" quip :)
        TGM_1979
      • RE: The REAL secret behind Microsoft iPad Apps

        @toddybottom
        +1
        Very well said.
        :|
        Tim Cook
    • RE: The REAL secret behind Microsoft iPad Apps

      @dave95. I personally think that Balmer and Company see it as replacing the PC in some roles and that means that they lose their share of the money...

      Sure MS has their Exchange License from Apple but they would lose Word and Excel sales and Apple's iWork suite (the best thing out for the iPad in my opinion) could seriously damage their market share if people get comfy with them!
      slickjim