Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Rumor of imminent launch of Office for iPad is denied by Microsoft; going without Office is the new norm

Some of the rumor sites over the past 24 hours have been reporting that Microsoft would be releasing a version of Office for the iPad. The Daily, Murdoch's tablet-only newspaper went so far as to say that the release of Office was "imminent".

The rumor came only a few days after I was thinking about the issue of Microsoft and Office. To me, it appeared that the old gang at Microsoft had taken control again and were pushing the idea that they could keep Office exclusive to Windows run tablets, thus differentiating their own OS from Apple. It is, and remains, a very bad idea as Microsoft is essentially training people to live without Office.

The rumor that Office would be launched soon for the iPad was, therefore, a blow to my idea that Microsoft was retreating back into its self-destructive way of thinking. But with the denial by Microsoft that a version of Office will soon launch, well, it appears Microsoft hasn't changed.**

For years, like many, I was a slave to parts of the Microsoft software empire. Word, Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint, you couldn't live without these products, could you?

As a Mac user I knew that there were alternatives, especially the alternatives from Apple, but these simply didn't do the trick.

Amazingly, though, even though it was obvious that Apple was going to continue to refine its own version of Office, iWork, somewhere in the past few years I moved to a place where I suddenly no longer need a Microsoft product (or at least a major one). Word has always been horrible, and Microsoft seems genuinely proud of how bad Word is. For something that has been around for so many years you would think that Microsoft would have improved its layout abilities, but no.

Excel and PowerPoint remain industry leaders, though I know many who swear by Keynote now.

The one indispensable software was always Outlook, but when Lion forced me to choose between Mail and buying a new copy of Office I went with Mail and haven't looked back. Outlook was the last piece of Microsoft on my desktop computer. If it is not there I certainly won't miss it on my iPad.

** By the way, I wouldn't be all that surprised if a version of Office does, in fact, arrive for the iPad. It would show that someone in Seattle has there head screwed on straight. Would I buy it? No, simply because I no longer use any of the programs on my desktop.