Microsoft has released it’s version of Office for the IPad/IPhone. A quick evaluation shows that Microsoft has made major mistakes with the design.
Why has Microsoft failed?
Because Microsoft Office for the IPad/IPhone is unattractive to anyone who isn’t already heavily invested in the Microsoft ecosystem. And if you are using an IPad or an IPhone, you aren’t going to be heavily invested in the Microsoft ecosystem.
What Microsoft needed to deliver was a set of programs so damned good, that it would attract people no matter what ecosystem they were using, whether Apple, Google, etc. Microsoft doesn’t ever appear to have tried.
Above is the pricing for Personal Use. Someone like myself, who writes professionally would need to buy the Office 365 Small Business Premium package.
The problem for Microsoft is that there are a wide variety of competing products on the market. Apple’s Pages, Keynote, and Numbers cost $10.00 each, which is a one time charge. You can buy all three, use Apple’s own basic Cloud service, for the cost of three months on Office 365.
Then there’s competitive programs. HopTo is free, Textilus is $5.99, Easy Writer is free. There’s a wide range of other options, for a variety of prices, all of which are cheaper than Office 365.
Unless you already have an Office 365 account, there appears to be no advantage to the Microsoft solution. In fact there appears to be a huge disadvantage – the Subscription Software concept. Andrew Grygus wrote about Microsoft’s attempt to move to the Subscription model eleven years ago. Microsoft is still struggling to do this. Most customers see no need to make yearly payments. Instead they’d far rather pay slightly more at the time of purchase, and not have to worry about the future.
Because of the dislike of the Subscription model, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for the IPad and IPhone are dead on arrival for the Consumer market, and probably the Business market too.
Office 365 hasn’t done well in the Business market, and this isn’t going to help it. When it is a one time $30.00 payment for Apple’s software, but $159.00 per year for Microsoft’s, most firms will choose the one time payment, and a considerable cost savings.
Why Microsoft doesn’t understand this, well, no one outside the company knows the answer. Yes, there are firms that use Office 365, but not very many of them, and the few that do get enormous discounts. That’s fine for anyone with muscle to get one of those massive discounts.
But Microsoft appears to think that Consumers are brain dead, and unable to work out year software costs. Seriously.
I have an IPad, and I paid $10.00 for Pages. I don’t need Numbers or Keynote on my IPad. I do have them on my MacBook, but that’s because they came in the iWork 2009 package. Oh, and I use the free version of Google Drive, my storage requirements aren’t big. Last but not least, with Pages I don’t have to worry about choosing Home Premium or Office Premium.
So why would I pay $99.99 per year for Office 365?
Sunday March 30, 2014