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Microsoft shows revenue hand with Office for iPhone

Gregg Keizer | June 18, 2013
Ties iPhone app to Office 365 subscription, but analysts unsure whether the carrot is enough to push customers to adopt the rent-not-own concept

Part of their pessimism was triggered by the iPhone-centricity of Mobile Office. While the app can be run on Retina-equipped iPads and the iPad Mini, on those tablets it appears as either shrunken to the actual size of an iPhone display or as a blocky 2X-expanded view, neither of which are satisfactory.

By nature, tablets with their larger screens make a more efficient platform for Office, the analysts said, and would be a bigger draw — a better carrot — for Office 365 than the iPhone, even though Apple's smartphone is well-entrenched in business and popular with consumers.

"They're continuing the artificial advantaging of one product over another to change customer behavior," said Gillett of Forrester, criticizing Microsoft's iPhone-only emphasis. "We think that's a major mistake. In their eyes, not providing Office for iPad will motivate people to buy Windows tablets. That's baloney. People have already bought iPads."

If Microsoft does produce an iPad version of Office it will likely use the same Office 365 tie-in to monetize it, the experts said.

Office Mobile for Office 365 Subscribers is available on the App Store. As of Monday, it was the thirty-fourth most popular free app on Apple's outlet.


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