There is no such thing as a free lunch, or is there?
Microsoft Office Suite for iPad, iPhone, and Android is now free. In a surprise move, the software giant is shaking his mobile office strategy to keep consumers connected to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Starting today, you no longer need a subscription to Office 365 for editing documents or store them in the cloud. The decision comes just days after Microsoft announced a strategic alliance to integrate Dropbox storage service in the cloud via Office desktop, mobile and web. You can now download Office for iPad and store all your documents in Dropbox without pay Microsoft anything at all. Microsoft is also launching a new iPhone application of the mark today with a preview of Office for Android tablets, all with Dropbox integration.
Microsoft plans may seem crazy to most, and which at first sight is easy to reach that conclusion, but the company argues it is a matter of moving your free web applications for mobile phones. “It’s an extension of the strategy we have,” says marketing director Michael Atalla from Microsoft Office. “There is a total strategic change as much of an extension of the existing strategy.” Microsoft offers free online Office applications, and Atalla argues that recent changes in the pattern of development within Microsoft have allowed the company to open the editing functionality for mobile clients. “We’re taking the same user experience that we offer online for native iOS and Android applications. We want to ensure that our customers can be productive through every device they have.”
While consumers using mobile Office applications can access for free, Microsoft is extending this free enterprise functionality. Office 365 subscription is required to edit the documents stored in Dropbox OneDrive for business or for business, a clear sign of how Microsoft will continue to generate money from the thousands of companies that rely on its suite of productivity and platform cloud. “There are still worth the premium that will add on top of that,” says Atalla. “There will still be subscription value, clear and easily identifiable in the commercial space, but also in the consumer space around the advanced authoring, analysis, presentation and OneDrive unlimited storage.” Microsoft is also restricting any graphic element of personalization and tracking changes to paid customers, so the premium features.
The key here seems to be a strategic move by Microsoft to maintain the competence of the Office for the mobile space. It is too easy for competitors to build competitive products and ship free on iPad, iPhone, and Android, which offers superior features at the top. Microsoft Office Suite is dominant, which also means it’s ripe for disruption. If there is an iPad app Office opponent‘s free and easy to use, which could tempt consumers away from their dependence on preconceived Word, Excel and PowerPoint. CloudOn, an application based on gestures for editing Office documents, has seen some early success here. Apple also offers its own iWork apps on the iPad at no additional cost, and several rivals, including the maker of the popular iPad app Paper, are emerging to threaten the mobile office. The nightmare scenario for Microsoft is that consumers realize suddenly that do not require Office to create your resume or personal documents, so why should they pay for it on a smartphone or tablet, where we are used to get free apps.
While Microsoft never admit it, is that threat more than anything that has forced change moving company here. “By in large we want the experience of creating core against all users who love the Office on any device they choose,” says Atalla. That experience building nucleus can help keep users hooked Office, and Microsoft does not want to face a future in which consumers, and finally, companies are no longer obsessed with Word, Excel and PowerPoint. There is also a game for OneDrive consumers using cloud storage and a Microsoft. Both can help Microsoft to tempt consumers to Office 365 for additional storage and the added advantage of Office for PC and Mac, as part of a subscription. It‘s a bold move for Microsoft, but also defensive. Competition from Microsoft now have to look elsewhere to plot their attack Office.