Microsoft Office and iOS, Revisited

The most recent scuttlebutt is that Microsoft is going to wait until the end of next year to release Office for iOS. I’ve written about this before and my thoughts haven’t changed. I remain convinced that Microsoft is losing dump trucks full of cash by not putting Office on iOS. If the rumors are true and they are delaying it to the end of next year, this is not a function of engineering delays. It’s clearly a marketing decision to give the Microsoft Surface some advantage over the iPad. However, this doesn’t appear to be working.

I understand that Microsoft is laying low on office on the iPad while they try and get their own competing tablet off the ground but I think it’s a mistake. This is an example of competing priorities in a company hurting the overall bottom line.

The real risk is that previously faithful Office users start using the iPad and discover other ways to get their work done. Anecdotally, I’ve met many people who tell me how they used to rely on Office and now have dumped it on all platforms. The worst outcome for Microsoft is that the Surface isn’t successful and Office stops being the cash cow they’ve relied upon it to be. I don’t think that scenario is out of the question at this point.