Microsoft Officially Brings Office to the iPad and Some Analysis for Librarians

Microsoft brings its Office Software suite to the competition by providing official apps for the iPad with a freemium cloud model. Demonstrating that you cannot succeed in the mobile world by trying to avoid it.

Microsoft Office for the iPad: offcie for ipad apps

  • Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
  • Built on Microsoft’s cloud service OneDrive,  cloud collaboration.
  • Freemium model – anyone can download and view for free and can engage, create, and edit in the Microsoft ecosystem with an Office 365 subscription. Everyone else can download and view.


  • Does requiring an Office 365 subscription make this really about driving their subscriptions? Limiting document storage to this arena is a strong play at their own storage ecosystem.
  • This is the first “official” product for the productivity suite on the iPad platform.
  • A strong (survival) move for Microsoft as it continues to position itself in the mobile era and recognizes that the iPad is the platform you must be on when it comes to tablets.
  • Another coup for the Freemium model.
  • A nod to world of ubiquitous computing.
  • A recognition that Microsoft’s own tablet strategy was not working
  • Means a shift – the Windows operating system is no longer sacrosanct and protected as such. The company, like many others is forced to loosen its products beyond its home control. Not wanting to be on your competitors’ platforms simply does not work anymore.
  • Assures a future for Microsoft in a cloud driven mobile world.
  • Means avoiding the main player, Apple and its iPad, is not a profitable strategy – for Microsoft/enterprise strategy or for service approach.
  • We cannot ignore the enterprise behemoth of Microsoft nor the mobile ecosystem of Apple.

For Libraries:

  • Impacts how our library staff matches the mobility of our work, our content, and our patrons.
  • This development is a reminder that we still cannot avoid mobile, even if Microsoft tried to for a few years too many.
  • This also addresses the need to plan for and engage a variety of form factors, an arena for us to be thinking about as we prep for technology changes.
  • Do the practical implications for libraries end at mobile library staff? I propose that the big implications are related to a settling down of the mobile enterprise landscape impacting the ways business and office work is done. Are there wider information implications? Will there be third-party hacks/developments closely related to information at next week’s Microsoft developers’ conference or generally?

The story is really about two things, productivity has come in a stronger way to mobile, and even the biggest players cannot ignore massive technology trends.

Joe Murphy Librarian


%d bloggers like this: