Two years after Microsoft introduced their Surface tablets into the world, many of us are still asking the question: Where the heck is an Office app? Well, the wait may be over. For some of you.
It seems a little odd to think of Microsoft releasing something specifically for an iPad. Microsoft and Apple are pretty much arch enemies, right? You would think that they would optimize their own tablets with an Office app first. Well, in reality, Microsoft has been churning out iOS and Android applications for a while. The Verge reported on exactly how common it is. OneNote, a Mac app, is absolutely killing it at the top of the app store charts. But OneNote isn’t alone. OneDrive and Remote Desktop, both Microsoft made Mac applications, are both in the top 10.
And Apple’s equivalents of Word, Powerpoint, and Excel which are Pages, Keynote, and Numbers, still find themselves in the top 10 as well. Yet if you take a peek at the customer reviews, the majority are pretty horrible. Each have only received two or three stars. Clearly, the way is clear for Microsoft to totally dominate this space. They’re giving us a taste of the Office app, which will be out next year, with how OneNote’s interface was created.
Still, it seems a little strange for Windows, known for its pioneering operating systems, to be apparently more focused on becoming a delivery system for a variety of platforms. That appears to be exactly the direction they’re headed, however. The market bears that out. Microsoft got lapped in the competition to serve PC technology when Google introduced the cloud. With Google Docs, spreadsheets and a whole suite of shareable software products that mimic the Office suite, Google opened up a sizable competitive advantage with Microsoft. That means the one-time software giant must adapt to the new rules governing the digital space. That means developing assets that can be used across operating systems and (gasp!) sharing revenue with those other systems.
That may spell an end to the age-old (if you’re under 40) battle between “PC v. Mac.” Today, almost every application is being designed for use across applications, making the relative differences in operating systems negligible. That’s mostly true for the computer world and is fast becoming truth in the world of mobile devices.
The question then becomes can a predominately hardware-based company like Apple, and a predominately software-based company like Microsoft, keep up with the Googles? They will if they want to avoid becoming technology dinosaurs. Moves like the one we’re seeing with Microsoft’s productivity line indicate that Microsoft is swallowing the bitter pill of market change and diversifying their approach. Apple, less dependent on proprietary software advantages, is also at less of a disadvantage as their hardware products are still the industry standard.
We here at AccelaWork are totally behind finding apps that will help to increase worker productivity. It takes time, trial and error, and patience to find the one that really works for you. Every app is different and each one brings something special to the table. Try out some free ones first, so you can get a feel for what you’re looking for before you start breaking the bank with tons of app purchases.
This is good news for businesses, who may have considerable sunken costs in PC or Mac related hardware. The move toward applications that work across platforms means the days of expensive hardware replacement may be over, replaced by necessary operating system and platform upgrades that are far less taxing on the bottom line.
Looking for more helpful tips on increasing productivity at work? Reach out to one of our business process improvement consultants today to bump up your efficiency!