Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols
Best Argument: Big deal
Audience Favored: Big yawn (60%)
The Office you need, the device you want
It's been a long time coming, but Microsoft Office will be one of the biggest things to ever happen to the iPad.
No matter how much you believe Google Docs and other cloud-based productivity tools are eating Office's lunch, the traditional offline versions are still sending billions to Redmond every year because they're the gold standard in productivity. Heck, built-in Office is a key reason many people buy Microsoft Surface Pro tablets over iPads.
People want nuisance-free productivity tools available anywhere, but most competing iPad suites have been pale imitations of Office with so-so compatibility, poor integration and awkward file handling.
Built and priced right, a Microsoft-built and -backed platform will lure customers back from alternatives – including Apple's own Pages, Numbers and Keynote. Sure to be tied in seamlessly with Microsoft OneDrive, Skype and other complementary services, this will be the Office you need on the device you want.
A really expensive laptop? No thanks
You know what? Office 365 on the iPad may indeed be the gold standard for office suites on the iPad. Personally I favor QuickOffice. But, what do I know? I don't use office suites on tablets. Period. End of statement.
The iPad is great for reading ebooks, for watching movies, for listening to music, for playing games for, in other words, for being entertained. In short, it's great for consuming information. For creating documents? For filling out a spreadsheet? Not so much.
Sure, I could use an iPad to do this. You know what? I can't type worth a damn on it or any other tablet's screen. Of course, I could add a keyboard, and what the heck, a mouse while I'm at it so I can type and edit efficiently.
You know what you get when you add a keyboard and a pointing device to an iPad? You get a really expensive laptop. No thanks.