Office for iPad – Is the answer in the cloud?

Thursday, August 16th, 2012 by Simon Morton

The Office for iPad debacle has been the subject of much navel gazing here at Eyeful Towers. The latest solution to the conundrum has come from some very clever people who have been gazing in a definitively more meteorological direction (see what we did there?).

There are technical reasons why the iPad cannot support Office but most of the obstacles on this path have been of the legal/financial/proprietorial variety.  With both parties unwilling to open the front door and let the other one in, a stalemate remains.

Outside of the main protagonists there have been huge efforts made to bring iPad and the Office suite together. Lots of great ideas have fallen under the mighty wrath of corporate jousting but some, like our friends at SlideShark, have come up with ingenious systems that really work.

Another of these clever little ‘get rounds’ is just emerging from beta testing and can be accessed at a cloud near you right now.

InstallFree Nexus are the latest people to bring the unwilling together and the secret of their offering is based on the good old theory of neutral territory. InstallFree Nexus utilises cloud computing to bring iPad and Office together ethereally. By logging into their site and linking to your (pre-existing) cloud storage account you can access and use the Office suite of programmes.

A free account will give you access to limited functionality and a subscription will give you full functionality. They have also cleverly inserted the ‘full version’ icon into the ribbon; allowing you to find it easily when frustrated and giving a whiff of Microsoft collaboration to the gossip mongers amongst us!

So here they are; iPad and Office in sweet harmony, touch screen responsiveness and full functionality.  Enjoy the moment – there’s a ‘but’ coming….

The whole kit and caboodle can only be used to author, edit and present when you are online. It’s not a deal breaker, but if you want to use it for sales presentations on the move you’ll need to make sure that the internet is available, accessible and reliable wherever you may be.

After all, even a beautifully optimised presentation is no good if no-one can see it!

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