Office for iPad: too little, too late!

Microsoft announced today that they are releasing office for iPad. If all you want to do is see your files or display you PPT, the apps are free. If you want to be productive i.e. create or edit…you will have to shell-out the Office365 subscription cost. Really! And that is for a product that is stuck with OneDrive and SharePoint.

If you buy a new iOS device or a new OSX device, you are already better served with the free iWorks suite. For most users, this is also more than enough. Frankly, Keynote is so much better than PowerPoint (which on my Mac regularly crashes or corrupt its own files). WORD is OK for simple document, here simple meaning not too large or complex. Otherwise, again on OSX be ready for regular crashes on large and complex WORD documents (lots of sections with tables, figures and so on). Writing a PhD thesis on WORD is simply pure torture. Students should be advised to learn LaTeX right off the bat.

If you are truly working cross platforms and are interested in true real-time shared editing, free Google Drive is actually quite impressive (never thought I would say that of the (evil) Google!) and light years ahead of clunky SharePoint for collaborative work. Tested in a room with peoples on Windows, OSX and iPad all accessing the same “WORD” document for editing. Works like a charm! Did I say it is FREE?

Finally, OpenOffice is an acceptable, free replacement. The issue is for it to be efficient, everyone in your work entourage needs to adopt it. Otherwise, also works nicely.

In other words, unless forced by a stone age IT department to have Office for iPad on your device, you probably do not need it.

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