When it comes to using the iPad for business purposes, many organizations have argued that because that because Microsoft Office is not available, it can not be a true enterprise tool. While there is some validity to this opinion—Office is a major productivity suite used in companies across the world—there are many other ways that the iPad can be an effective tool for businesses.
While a version of the software designed for the Apple tablet has been rumored for some time, one has yet to hit the market. A Morgan Stanley analyst predicted Microsoft was leaving $2.5 billion on the table by not have an iPad version of Office. Now, it seems as if we may be inching closer.
In a recent conversation with ComputerWorld, Microsoft's chief of marketing Tami Reller spoke about the status of moving the productivity suite onto other operating systems.
"As we step back and say, these core applications, these core brands that are so important to enterprise customers and consumers, how do we make sure that we're thoughtful about what we're doing on the Windows platform, as well as cognizant of the fact that there's other devices in their lives (emphasis in original)," Reller said. "So you'll see us be thoughtful about how and when we bring what applications to what platforms."
She added that the process of going cross-platform will need to be made business by business, product by product and not in one sweeping decision.
There is speculation that this Microsoft Office could be on multiple mobile platforms by the end of the year, but only time will tell. However, with the help of an IT consulting firm that specializes in Mac integration, any organization will be able to add iPads with Office.