Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO, revealed Office verson for iPad in a polished debut that set him apart from his energetic predecessor. When announcing the novelty, the new chief made it clear that he intends to make mobile apps the top priority at the world’s largest software company.
At a news conference, Microsoft has finally unveiled to public the Office, designed especially for iPad which will be available for download as a free app, though a subscription is needed to let users create or edit documents instead of just reading it.
However, the software giant did not demonstrate any special novelties on Windows machines, telegraphing a departure from former Chief Executive Steve Ballmer’s focus on the personal computer operating software and its own devices.
“Their absence speaks volumes,” said Daniel Ives, an analyst at FBR Capital Markets. “Nadella’s a cloud-centric guy; he’s going to focus on what’s been successful, and where the future’s going. Windows 8 thus far has been extremely underwhelming.”
Still, the new chief did not indicate when the company would release “touch-first” versions of Office apps for Windows 8, the latest version of the operating software, which he acknowledged had fallen behind in the mobile era.
“The Windows strategy, there’s no change, except we want to be known as the innovative company that’s coming from behind in some categories,” Nadella told reporters in an ad hoc question and answer session after the presentation, another sign of new openness at the company.
“If you look at the story of Windows, we lead in some, we have fallen behind in some. We’re grounded in that reality,” he said. “What we need to be is a challenger there and be able to show what we’re capable of doing in these new form factors.”
On the whole, users have already ranked the new suit quite positively.
“It’s a perfect example of how, overall, these three apps have the Office Suite feel without actually being a true suite,” Mashable’s Lace Ulanoff concluded.
“This is by no means a criticism. I think Microsoft built these three apps right for tablets. They work smoothly, offer virtually every feature I need and offer a sensible level of interaction without over-reaching.”
Besides from the absence of Windows devices, the Surface, one of Ballmer’s most popular concepts, was missing from a show floor at the event that included Google Inc Android tablets from Samsung and Acer as well as the iPad.
By the way, a few days ago sources revealed that Apple is reportedly in the middle of talks with Comcast Corp aimed at purchasing the streaming company.
“Apple has been in talks for a faster TV set-top box with Time Warner Cable Inc, which recently agreed to be bought by Comcast,” Reuters writes. “Apple’s $99 TV box competes with similar streaming devices from Roku and Google Inc.”