"While [CEO] Satya Nadella emphasized at the Windows 10 event that Microsoft devices will continue to be the targets for the best experience for its services, he's intent on making those cloud-based services available on other platforms. And client apps are the gateways to those services," said Rubin.
Hilwa believes that Office's growing strength will give Microsoft more bargaining power as it negotiates with Google and Apple for resources and support. You can imagine a meeting today, he said, where Microsoft advises Apple to increase its support for iTunes in Windows if it wants to see support for Skype, Minecraft, or Office in iOS.
"Microsoft building Office into a cross-platform brand, that customers demand, is in the same vein as building out other popular consumer assets like Xbox, Skype, and Minecraft," Hilwa said.
Microsoft's broader goal is helping customers be more productive, no matter their location or device, a Microsoft spokeswoman said.
"Thursday's announcement is a good example of how Microsoft is doing [this] on an up-to-date basis via the cloud, along with expanding the way people can access their Office apps on their PC, Mac, tablets, and phone," she said.
She essentially agreed with Rubin's point that multiple client apps give users more choices, though they all lead to the same services.
It's difficult to deny that, with a relatively small investment of cash, Microsoft has taken one of its oldest and most tarnished brands and, in less than two months' time, converted it into one of its strongest mobile assets.
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