Published On: Fri, Mar 28th, 2014

Microsoft shakes hand with Apple


One of the most lucrative software franchises in history, Microsoft
Office, has finally come to the most influential computing device of
the last few years, the iPad.

Microsoft introduced the long-awaited suite of applications, which
includes Word, PowerPoint and Excel, at an event here Thursday, where
the company’s new chief executive, Satya Nadella, committed to making
the software work on all major computing devices, including those made
by its competitors. Microsoft plans to create Office apps for tablet
computers running Google’s Android operating system, too. To some, the
move is a refreshing sign of a new Microsoft, one slowly unshackling
itself from an era when its major decisions were made in deference to
Windows, Microsoft’s operating system.

But skeptics wonder if Microsoft has waited too long, giving people who use iPads, especially
business professionals, years to get used to life without it and
giving an opening to startups and Apple’s competing products.
Microsoft’s decision to bring Office to the Apple device comes after
years of development and debate inside the company as it mulled the
implications for its own efforts to make a tablet computer.  In his
first public event as Microsoft’s chief executive, Nadella, who noted
that it was his 52nd day as the company’s leader, provided a stark
contrast to Steven A.

Ballmer, his predecessor, who was known for his fiery sermons in praise of Windows. Nadella struck a more humble tone
and acknowledged that Microsoft must make its applications and
services available wherever its customers want to use them, which
these days is often on non-Microsoft devices.
Timothy D. Cook, Apple’s chief executive, and Nadella even engaged in
a friendly exchange on Twitter, with Cook welcoming Office to the iPad
and Nadella saying he was “excited to bring the magic of @Office to
iPad customers.”  Critics say Microsoft waited far too long to bring
office to the iPad, nearly 200 million of which have been sold. Until
now, customers have relied on products from other companies, like
Evernote, Quip, Smartsheet and Haiku Deck and Apple’s own iWorks

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