Barb Darrow:

Tier 1 analyst Carl Brooks said this Windows first strategy is nutty in this day and age. “Microsoft wants to own user data in Office across the clients and in the cloud obviously. But this is a fight Apple’ s going to win on its own platform,” he said. “Microsoft can obviously deliver a better experience on Windows devices, but waiting too long or restricting Office to Windows would be suicide. I can already read .docs and .ppts on my iPhone and it gets easier all the time,” he said.

Microsoft is in a very interesting position on mobile: they want users to be on their platforms, but they also want to sell as many copies of Office as they can. It was a long held belief by many in the corporate world that iOS could not, and would not, be successful for businesses without Office on them. Turns out they were wrong about that one and because Microsoft still hasn’t shipped Office for iOS/Android there have been many third parties that have risen to the challenge and made great apps that open these documents.

If you use iOS, you have probably never once thought about the fact that you don’t have Word or Excel on your device — yet this was a real fear for the platform when it launched. Now though, would you even bother buying Office for iOS if it came out?

I wouldn’t — and that’s a problem for Microsoft because now users have no compelling reason to buy Microsoft software and no compelling reason to move to Windows platforms.