Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) suffered a jolt when rival Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) talked about giving its iWork apps to new customers. This development minimizes the opportunity for Microsoft to bring its MS Office suite onto iPads, according to analysts.

Apple office ipad

Awkward situation for Microsoft

Apple’s plan to provide its own software for writing documents, spreadsheets and making presentations on an iPad turns out to be a puzzle for Microsoft, who has kept its office suite limited to its own devices.

Microsoft’s office suite, which contains MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint, rules the PC market. Although there are many other alternatives available, MS Office owns the limelight with features that are easy-to-use within corporate IT departments and straightforward compatibility, according to a report from Financial Times.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has worked on ramping up sales of its surface tablets by making MS Office suite unavailable for Apple’s iOS platform. But Surface tablet, the latest model of which went into sales this week, has failed to gain substantial traction in the tablet market and is nowhere near to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPads. Also, Microsoft had to write down its $900 million inventory in July due to unsold surface RT.

Outgoing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is hopeful that Office 365, which costs $100 per year, will arrive on iPad, but has not given any specific time and price indications.

Apple productivity apps to gain popularity

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has seen less popularity for its productivity apps like Pages, Numbers and Keynotes compared to Microsoft’s tools. However, users may find Office useless once Apple cuts the iWork price from $30 to free when a user buys a new iPad or iPhone.

“Apple is showing that the software is an addition to the hardware and is something that increases engagement – and they are not charging for it,” said Carolina Milanesi, mobile analyst at Gartner. Milanesi added that Apple software will eat into Microsoft profits, as Microsoft charges for software.

Confused competitors

Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook, indirectly attacked Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and its partners like HP and Dell, by saying that Apple’s competition is “confused” about the future of computing. He said that Apple rivals first went on to raise profits through notebooks, which were popular in 2000s, and now they are running behind as they are turning PC into tablets and tablets into PC. He said that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has a sharp vision as to where it wants to head by making a clear differentiation between Macs and iPads.