Unsurprising really, I haven’t used Microsoft products for years

I haven’t used Microsoft Office products in years.

I mostly live in the cloud and where possible use Google Apps and in the past have used OpenOffice as a viable alternative to Office.

Office applications became more and more bloated and the days of massive installations on hard drives to do basic things like simple spreadsheets and documents is long gone.

The advent of tablet and mobile computing has pretty much killed off applications like Office.

It may be one of Microsoft’s biggest squandered opportunities.

Tired of waiting for Office to be optimised for their mobile gadgets, a growing contingent of younger companies is turning to cheaper, simpler and touch-friendly apps that can perform word processing and other tasks in the cloud.

Take Artivest Holdings, a New York-based financial services startup that sells alternative investment products. The New York-based company uses an app called?Quip, which combines word processing and messaging, to handle all but the most sensitive legal and financial files.?

“There are no more Microsoft Word documents being circulated. If someone emails me a Word document, I’ll tell them to put it in Quip,” said Artivest Chief Investment Officer David Levine.

“If I’m walking to and from home, or going to an appointment, I can review or edit on my iPad. Not being tied to my desk, that’s a big pro,” he said.

The speed with which apps like Quip have been adopted is forcing Microsoft to intensify its efforts to bring the powerful but ageing Office software suite to tablets and smartphones, according to people close to the company.

Microsoft already has a full iPhone and iPad version of Office ready for release, the sources said. The only question is when Chief Executive Satya Nadella, who took over in February, will pull the trigger.

Nadella wants to widen Office’s customer base but has to balance that with the flagship Windows franchise, which benefits greatly from tight integration with Office, especially on desktop computers.

“We have some pretty exciting plans,” said John Case, the top Office marketing executive, without giving any details. “Certainly, interest in Office on the iPad is extreme. When they (customers) want to do real work, they are going to want to use Office.”

It is a long, long time since Microsoft excited anyone…and I don’t expect these offerings will either.

48%
×