Office wars: Microsoft, Google, and Apple jockey for position

Google, Microsoft, and Apple have to balance conflicting interests when it comes to office productivity suites on mobile platforms.

By , PC World |  Mobile & Wireless, Apple, Google

Most people have gotten past the sentiment that tablets can't be used for "real work". The simple reality is that a tablet is capable of doing most of the core functions a traditional PC can perform: email, Web surfing, social networking, instant messaging, and so forth. But, before you rush out to get a tablet to replace your laptop you should be aware that your choice of productivity apps may be dictated by your mobile platform.

Why? There are a variety of factors involved, and it depends on which combination of office suite and mobile platform you're talking about.

Google has stated that it has no current plan to develop for Windows 8 or Windows Phone 8. I assume the existing versions that work with Windows 7 will continue to work in desktop mode on Windows 8 systems, and that Google is referring specifically to developing apps for the Modern UI to be offered through the Windows App Store.

Clay Bavor, the product management director at Google Apps, told tech blog V3, "We have no plans to build out Windows apps. We are very careful about where we invest and will go where the users are but they are not on Windows Phone or Windows 8. If that changes, we would invest there, of course."

Meanwhile, a TabTimes story suggests that Microsoft and Apple are having a tough time working out the details to bring Microsoft Office apps to iOS. The speculation is that the Office iOS apps themselves will be free, but full functionality will require a subscription to Office 365. Based on Apple developer terms, if Microsoft sells Office 365 from within the apps, Apple is supposed to get a 30% cut.

Those are a couple of examples from a complex landscape of competing interests. Microsoft and Google are the dominant competitors when it comes to office productivity software, and Apple has its own productivity software as well. Microsoft, Google, and Apple also compete against each other in the mobile platform arena.


Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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