iOS and Microsoft Office – What Microsoft had to say

Whilst attending a SharePoint Online conference at the Microsoft Offices In Reading, i asked one of the officials whether there would be better Office for IOS in this or the next release of Office?

His answer went something like this:

We love windows, but we are not against building on other platforms in fact we’ve made Office for Mac for over 25 years. We are still in that gold rush period – platforms are changing fast and when platforms change there is significant work that needs to be done on our side – one example on Mac was the change from Cocoa to Carbon and deprecating backwards compatibility between OS9 and OSX. That sort of change meant we had to cut features from Office 2008 just before release and it took us till 2011 to get back to parity.
The iPad was released AFTER Office 2010 went RTM. Hard to believe. It has been widely used as a content consumption device and we want to support that. We also think the form factor is great for some light productivity needs such as reading,  email, videoconferencing and note taking.
We will have great Office experiences available on iOS and Android. We think HTML5 web apps, optimized for modern devices are a great combination. Using web apps means you can have a near native experience, keep your data secure without requiring jailbreaking your device, using developer units, or third party device management solutions that have very questionable support from the device manufacturer
Also web apps help us get ready for the next big thing without having to predict it. Over time, open platforms like HTML5 will win out over walled gardens – particularly if you are envisioning a multi-platform future, but still want consistency of experience for your users. Also, walled gardens you are giving up a fair element of control.
But we aren’t totally there yet with HTML5. There are still some use cases for native apps – particularly when you want to take advantage of hardware features such as cameras, USB drives or ink style input.
Well there you have it, another indefinite answer. The meaning in my opinion is there seems to be some minimal support for iOS, the main platform is still the Microsoft platform, until Apple stabilise the continual changes they make to their platform, Microsoft will be holding out on fully supporting the platform. Web apps seem to be the only way forward with improving support for iOS.

One thought on “iOS and Microsoft Office – What Microsoft had to say

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