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Microsoft Office for Android and iOS. That Isn’t the News.

Microsoft Office for Android and iOS. That Isn’t the News.

Tech blog The Verge broke the news today …

..That Microsoft Office will be coming to Android and iOS devices in 2013. Looks to me like they missed the big picture here…

Office 2013 live tilesIf you read the article and you are an Android or iOS user then that is good news for you.

If you are a CIO of an organization that has invested heavily in either of these platforms for your road warriors then that’s an even bigger slice of good news pie.

The question being asked by some is,

“Isn’t Microsoft shooting Surface and Windows Phone 8 in the foot doing this?”

The fact is if you are something of a Luddite and stuck on the idea of emailing attachments then yes this probably seems so to you.

The reality is that as important as proprietary, front-end devices are to Redmond, by allowing Microsoft Office to work cross-platform they are solving a huge strategic battle.

Microsoft Office will in one fell sweep unite all front end productivity devices, regardless of platform with the same Productivity Suite.

There are two strategic advantages here: –

  1. COLLABORATION – this has been the buzzword for Office and Office-like productivity suites since they went online. Now picture working from your iPad from home while another team member offshore collaborates on the same document from their Galaxy Note or Asus Transformer and yet another team member pitches in with their input from a Surface or Windows 8 laptop.
  2. BACKEND – whether you are already in the Cloud or moving that way the key phrase in the Verge article was “Office 365” and this is as much about Microsoft Office in the Cloud and the backend as it is the Office UI and frontend features.

When push comes to shove it seems to me that an organization of any scale with all its devices collaborating via Office 365 will be well served to use the included Sharepoint and Exchange / Outlook. Looking further afield is this an entry-point for Microsoft to leverage Windows Azure to these same CIOs to better serve all these Office 365 users?

Personal Android / iOS users already have some access to Skydrive via an Apps Page that has 3rd Party Apps and the Official Apps can be found here.

Apps for Skydrive

 In a nutshell, does it look like Microsoft has cut the knees out from under Google Apps? If the price is right then this may harken the end of Open Office and its kin but also see the demise of Google Apps too.

If you are an Android or iOS user will you be investing in Microsoft Office for your Phone / Tablet?