Office for iPad: Big deal or big yawn?

Moderated by Larry Dignan | March 31, 2014 -- 07:00 GMT (00:00 PDT)

Summary: Put the world's most popular office suite on the most popular tablet, and what do you get?

David Braue

David Braue

Big deal

or

Big yawn

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols

Best Argument: Big deal

40%
60%

Audience Favored: Big yawn (60%)

Closing Statements

It's exactly what you needed

David Braue

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

Larry Dignan

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. 

Talkback

71 comments
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  • Pay $10/mo.?

    Gimme a break. I'll stick with the iWork suite and only pay for it once. This is just a tablet, not a real computer.
    rag@...
    Reply 70 Votes I'm for Big yawn
    • 10$/mo

      For users that only have a tablet and no desktops or laptops, it's a horrible deal, yes. Office 365 is a license for 5 PCs/Macs plus 5 tablets. Office for iPad increases the value of an Office 365 subscription (IMO not yet to the point that it might be worth it), but paying for Office 365 just to get Office for iPad is clearly a horrible option.
      Sacr
      Reply 91 Votes I'm Undecided
    • If only. . . .

      How about iWork on the PC.

      I think that would be a nail in the MS Office coffin, and ultimately of MS Windows itself.
      Henry 3 Dogg
      Reply 53 Votes I'm Undecided
      • You can do that, it is in beta at the moment however.

        http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/how-to/software/3472360/how-use-pages-numbers-keynote-in-windows/
        YaBaby
        Reply 44 Votes I'm Undecided
        • Same old bastardized apps, now restricted to cloud trash

          Pass…
          MrElectrifyer
          Reply 56 Votes I'm Undecided
      • Ha Ha

        I work will fail once it gets out of fanboy heaven and has to meet people who have known how to use a real office product.
        larsonjs
        Reply 38 Votes I'm Undecided
        • Exclude yourself then

          Which obviously isn't you, an ACTUAL completely oblivious fanboy.
          PaulG53
          Reply 38 Votes I'm Undecided
          • Only Apple have fanboys

            The creepy Apple culture nurtures fanboys, the evidence is.....

            Weirdo's lining up around the block for days when a product launches
            Spotty teenagers wearing 'Genius' t-shirts high-fiving those browsing in stores
            Customers and 'Geniuses' applauding and howling when people make a purchase
            Purchasers defending a company that makes unusually large profit margins.

            None of this goes on outside Apple, and those on the outside think it is very strange behaviour. Often such people go out of their way to show that they have a different product, they they're not part of the Apple culture because frankly it's embarrassing. But really non-Apple fans just want a phone / tablet whatever without any nonsense.
            johnafish
            Reply 30 Votes I'm Undecided
      • Perhaps not

        Incumbency counts for a lot, especially in the business world.
        John L. Ries
        Reply 51 Votes I'm Undecided
      • Ha! Now thats funny.

        "I think that would be a nail in the MS Office coffin, and ultimately of MS Windows itself"

        Please tell me your kidding.
        Cayble
        Reply 61 Votes I'm Undecided