This move by Microsoft’s newly appointed CEO could be surprising to many. Office is a MS cashcow and nobody slaughters their own revenue stream by giving up a product for free. But was there really an option left for them to do anything else. Office is not as eleventh as it used to be in the PC world. In this post PC era, office has lost its lusture of the top productivity app and is primarily because of Microsoft holding its release for such long on iPad and secondarily because of the new device forum factor where touch is still not as capable as a keyboard mouse combo. There are new apps like Quip that are trying to remake this landscape in totally new way and I see that as the future going forward. Office for iOS/Android will give a good fight to Apple’s iWork suite of apps and Google’s Quickoffice which are already fees on their respective app stores. Most of the reviews consider MS Office as a better product than other productivity apps on market for mobile. High Adoption of these newly released product will make the case strong for Microsoft to sell office 365 subscription to enterprise customers which is highly lucrative.
Making office free for home use makes a lot of sense for Microsoft, it was already falling behind. If the product were a paid one, the apron rate would have been very low in the face of free alternatives, Microsoft stepped in a right direction, made office free for iOS/Android for Home use, Made iPad a premium device on which editing and creating documents will work with an office 365 subscription.
Cloud First. Mobile First.
Let’s see how it works out for Microsoft’s new CEO Satya Nadella who till now seem to be moving in the right direction.