The world is moving to mobile, and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has decided that its Office suite might as well go with it. In stark contrast to his predecessor, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella took to the stage in San Francisco today and boldly stated that Microsoft wishes to ”empower people to be productive and do more across all devices… Office 365 will be everywhere from here on out.”
Well, almost. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s email program Outlook was suspiciously missing from the productivity suite announced today. Additionally, while the apps are free, users will need a subscription to Microsoft’s Office 365 service to actually make them work.
Journalists were baited to the announcement with Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) promising “some news related to the intersection of cloud and mobile.” Few in attendance were aware that they were meant to witness to a major reversal in company thinking and the answer to years of calls for a mobile cross-platform Office.
Forrester analyst Rob Koplowitz was quick to point out that the exclusion of Outlook isn’t that important. He believes the familiarity of Word is enough. “The big problem has been ‘I want to edit my documents in Word,’” he said. “I want to edit it in the native application. I don’t want to pull it into something else.”
Analysts at Jefferies believe that Office for iPad could generate up to $4 billion in revenue with the addition of Office for the device. That didn’t stop the stock from losing 1.08% on the day with a steady decline from 10AM to close.
“Under the Ballmer era, if the world wanted Office they had to buy [Microsoft’s] tablet device and mobile platform,” said Koplowitz. “How did that work? The numbers say it didn’t work all that well. Can they make a lot of money selling Office to other devices? Yeah I think they can,” said Forrester’s Koplowitz after using and reviewing the new manifestation of Office.
Apple, Microsoft CEOs take to Twitter
The announcement, which Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was certainly well aware of, began a little bit of a Twitter love fest between the Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEOs.
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) March 27, 2014
Tim Cook welcomed Office and Nadella in his tweet with Nadella thanking him and speaking of the magic of Office.
While Office is a big part of Microsoft, so is Windows despite a move to mobile which Microsoft embraced today.
“Where does Windows fit in for us?” Nadella asked at the end of Thursday’s event. “Windows is a massive agenda for us.” He added that the company would say more “next week” about innovations related to Windows.