Microsoft’s new CEO announces Office for iPad

Satya Nadella, only the third person to be Microsoft’s Chief Executive Officer, stepped out into the broad public eye today in San Francisco to announce the companies latest efforts in the cloud and mobile arena.

The press conference, held just days before Microsoft’s annual Build developers conference, was rumored to be the announcement of Office for iPad according to Microsoft Watcher Mary Jo Foley.

Beginning with a quote from T.S. Elliot he then launched into his perspective on where the computing world is going.

  • Computing is ubiquitous – will use all form factors
  • Everything will be digitized
  • It is a Mobile First – Cloud First world

He said that there are a set of activities that we, i.e. Microsoft, do and these steps need to be taken:

  • Empower every user across all devices
  • Empower developers to create more so people can do more across all of their devices
  • Empower IT so users can do more with their devices

After his initial opening he handed the reigns over to Julia White and the first device she walked up and grabbed was an iPad.

Now tell me this is not Satya Nadella’s Microsoft!

Within just a couple of minutes of being on stage she announced Office for iPad and that it would be available in the App Store at 11:00 AM PDT or 2:00 PM EDT.

I give it 24 hours to be in the App Store’s top ten.

During her demo she showed the ability for multiple users to edit the document at the same time and the fact that it syncs across the cloud, OneDrive in this case, so the latest version of your document is available across all of your devices.

The touch UI for these apps Word, Excel and PowerPoint is superb and I am sure many are looking for similar features in the touch version of Office for Windows 8 touch devices.

She also revealed that every user who downloads the free app will have the ability to read and present their Office content from their iPad. If that user also has an Office 365 subscription then the ability to create content will be enabled in the app as well.

Looks like this freemium model allows Microsoft to offer the app to all iPad users but keep their subscription process separate on their own servers and not have to share 30% of that revenue with Apple.

Smart move.

Update: I stand corrected – according to Recode Microsoft is offering the Office 365 subscription through the Office for iPad app and Apple is getting their 30% cut.

Wow – just wow. Not sure that would have ever happened under the last CEO.

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