Tablet success for Microsoft Office will depend on several factors
Software giant Microsoft® is reportedly preparing a new version of its popular Office productivity suite for tablet computers. Though this is good news for Microsoft enthusiasts, one industry observer notes that there are several considerations that may determine Office's success in the mobile format.
In a report for technology news provider ZDNet, James Kendrick asserts that the price tag will be an important factor for Office. It is rumored that Microsoft will offer mobile versions of the apps for $10. If this proves to be true, it could be a major advantage for Microsoft's mobile efforts, as the company has to compete with similar prices for the iWork® suite from Apple® and the free Google Docs™ program.
Optimizing the software for the mobile platform will also be crucial. Kendrick notes that tablet apps must be clean and "free of the bloat" found in desktop versions of the software. The design of the tablet computer is drastically different from that of the PC, but Microsoft also has to consider differences in processors and storage formats.
Microsoft has made it clear that it intends to make some waves in the tablet market. The company is planning to release its Windows® 8 operating system, which will cater to both traditional PCs and tablets, in 2012. If Microsoft can optimize both the OS and the productivity suite for the mobile format, it may be able to establish itself as a major force in the tablet industry.