Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is said to be readying a "free" version of Office Mobile for popular devices. We'll see an iOS version of iPhone and iPad in a few months, followed by one for Android soon after, we're told. However, to actually edit an office file, you'll need to pony up for an Office 365 cloud subscription. That could make BYOD a more pricey proposition.
In IT Blogwatch, bloggers read the rumor runes.
Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.
Tom Warren breathlessly brings us this "exclusive":
[I] learned through several sources close to Microsoft's plans that the company will release Office versions for Android and iOS. ...free apps that allow Android and iOS users to view Microsoft Office documents on the move.
Word, PowerPoint, and Excel documents will all be supported, and edit functionality can be enabled with an Office 365 subscription...but we're told this won't go very far in attempting to replace regular full use of a desktop Office version. ...a company spokesperson says "Office will work across Windows Phone, iOS and Android." MORE
Mary Jo Foley muses on app rental:
As a number of us Microsoft watchers have been speculating...the entry-level versions...are not "full" Office. ... This push toward subscriptions fits in with Microsoft's strategy...the move to subscription pricing and packages. MORE
Tim Greene sees the BYOD angle:
Microsoft already has Office Mobile for Windows Phone and Symbian. ... [But] if they want to edit documents as well will have to buy a subscription to Microsoft’s cloud service Office 365.
This fits in with Microsoft’s long-standing failure to produce full native Office apps...and also with its current trend toward pushing users to make use of Microsoft cloud-based services. ... Office 365 is an added expense starting at $8 per user per month. ... [So] IT pros should work with business unit heads to determine what categories of workers...could also benefit from Office. ... this could be a way to squeeze more utility out of those privately owned machines employees are bringing to work. MORE
And Preston Gralla explains why this is a good move:
This will clearly help Microsoft on competing tablet and smartphone platforms. But it also may harm [its] hopes to gain market share for Windows 8 and RT...and for Windows Phone 8.
Office is part of the Business Division...Microsoft's biggest revenue generator. [This] will certainly help increase Microsoft's revenue. And it will...help make sure that people continue to use Office rather than...Google Apps. ... So releasing Office for iOS and Android is...a recognition that its future is beyond Windows. MORE
But Nancy Gohring reckons it's "too little, too late":
[It] won't have much to set it apart from other apps that do the same thing. ... There are already many options for viewing and editing Office documents on the go. ... [e.g.] Quickoffice, which lets me view and edit Word, Powerpoint, and Excel documents. MORE