Microsoft’s Office Suite and Printers Sitting in a Tree…

John Moltz makes the argument that part of the reason office suites are less important today is in large part due to the death of printed pages:

But eventually I, like many others, simply stopped needing to print. Everything I wrote I transmitted electronically or put on a webpage. And really, good riddance to printing.

And if you really think about it, that’s what office suites do: transform your content into something that will fit onto a flat rectangle. Moltz really has a great point and I think it shows just why most people don’t care about office on their tablets.

There’s a flip side to this, though, and that is spreadsheets. Those are still king of the mountain in business and there is a real need to read Excel files on a mobile device. Apple’s Numbers does an average job at this, but like on the Mac, it is no Excel.

The problem that Microsoft is facing is of their own creation. Had Microsoft shipped Excel when tablets came out, for tablets, users would have just bought it without thinking twice (business expense FTW). Now that tablets have been in users hands for almost three years, Microsoft has allowed users to figure out that there’s a lot more that can be done on a tablet with no Excel — more to be done than most thought.

That’s a dangerous line of thinking if you are Microsoft.

Initially everyone figured that they needed Word, Excel, Outlook, and Powerpoint in order to make a tablet useful, but they bought one anyway and what users found instead was: Safari, iBooks, FaceTime, Angry Birds, Photo Booth, Mail, and so forth. What users found was a tablet that was only marginally less useful than a tablet with Office. Three years later the clamoring for Office on iOS is all but a whisper.

That’s one big “oops” for Microsoft.

Originally posted for members on: January 9, 2013
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