Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols
Best Argument: Big deal
Audience Favored: Big yawn (60%)
It's exactly what you needed
We live in a cynical world, sure. Yet, while this debate has been raging, one positive review of Office for iPad has been rolling in after another. Reviewers agree it's “recommended” , one of Microsoft's “finest moments," and “sets the gold standard” for mobile productivity. Maybe the truth is that it's just the office that you've been waiting for all this time.
Sure, surveys suggest productivity isn't on most mobile users' minds. Of course you can just use a notebook, but if you're using your iPad for everything else why should you have to lug around a notebook just to use Word and Excel? Add an iPad keyboard and Office for iPad, and you've got the same functionality in a device you're already carrying with you.
In the end, as much as it may be trendy to dis Microsoft and declare Office passe, you know you love it. Office for iPad is like The Lego Movie (which currently has a 97 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes): you may hate the premise and want to hate the execution, but once you settle in and let yourself experience it, you'll realize it is exactly what you needed.
iPads don't create information, they consume it
Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols
If you really must use Microsoft Office, I have a modest suggestion for you: Use it on a PC, not on an iPad or any other tablet.
I really can't see any office suite working that well on a pure tablet. Sure, you can make a tablet work like a PC if you add a keyboard to it. There are lots of great iPad keyboards. But come on! Is that a good use of your money?
Use a tablet for what it's good for as a device to consume information, not as one to create information. The cheaper, better option for office work on the go was then, is now, and forever shall be a laptop.
If you must have some kind of office suite on your iPad try QuickOffice. This office suite from Google works with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and PDF documents and uses Google Drive cloud storage. And, best of all it's free.
Oh, and by the way, even on a laptop there are good, cheaper alternatives than Office. I prefer LibreOffice. Google Docs, heck even WordPerfecty — yes, it's still around — than Office. Whatever office suite you use on your laptop, it's still going to be more efficient then the best possible office suite on your tablet.
Big deal is better argument
The two sides in this debate couldn't have been more different. Steven's basic argument was that tablets are mostly for consumption so the Office on iPad move isn't that amazing. David went the other way. In the end, David's argument was better rounded so he gets the win and goes against the audience vote.