Office for iPad – The debate continues

Friday, February 24th, 2012 by Simon Morton

Whilst on one of his regular cyber trawls our MD Simon Morton has decided to pitch in to the Office for iPad debate. We’ve been keeping a keen eye on this for a while now as the story continues to unfold (or not) like a 1950’s espionage paperback. In fact, since Simons post the plot has thickened further still.

Whatever your view on the claims, counterclaims, rumour and denials the more cynical amongst us may be starting to whiff the very merest hint of an astonishing ‘treat ’em mean and keep ’em keen’ maketing ploy…..

The article that prompted Simon to contribute can be found through this link but in many ways his response speaks for itself.

As a company of presentation geeks, we’re watching this one with interest…here’s why:

When Apple released the iPad, there was a huge amount of hype and anticipation around how this new technology would revolutionise the way business people would present information to each other.  In many people’s minds, gone were the days of Death by PowerPoint as we used this fancy new technology that would allow people to interact with the presentation in a non-linear fashion.

Then Apple released the Keynote app…

Nothing short of awful.

Yes, it was cheap but the lack of functionality coupled with dire integration with the most basic of PowerPoint files (which, despite protestations from the Apple crowd, remains the presentation weapon of choice for the vast majority of the corporate world) meant that the expensive toy with so much potential was left wanting.

Simple elements such as “custom shows” were not supported – the net result was many business people were simply moving Death by PowerPoint to a new, less flexible platform.

The failings of the Keynote on the app resulted in the release of a gazillion “PowerPoint readers” for the iPad.  The vast majority of which are awful (trust us – we’ve tried them all…).

At this point, Microsoft have a choice:

1. They can snigger behind their hands and laugh at how their users are trying to escape them but keep getting foiled because Apple hasn’t created an app with the functionality they deserve to make the most out of the technology everyone has rushed out like lemmings to buy.

2. As Kit explains beautifully, they can wake up and see an opportunity to steal some of the thunder from their competitor by creating a series of apps that REALLY work for the business community.  Who would own the customer’s heart & head then..?  The hardware manufacturer or the app developer?  My money’s on the latter.

Let’s hope they go for option 2 – we could then finally see the revolution in business presenting that has long been needed.



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