Apple’s product event took place in San Francisco on Wednesday, and many industry experts attended. What came as a surprise was that an executive from Microsoft was also invited onto the stage.
Corporates important for iPad success
The relations between the two tech giants have not been very good. Walter Issacson, in a Steve Jobs biography, cited the Apple co-founder as saying that Microsoft had no taste. Apparently times have changed now.
At the event, Apple announced a new 12.9-inch iPad Pro priced at $799, among other products. Apple CEO Tim Cook wants the gadget to become more appealing at the workplace and believes it to “be the clearest expression of our vision of the future for personal computing. A simple, multi touch piece of glass that instantly transforms into anything you want it to be.”
Cook is aware of the fact that even though tablet sales have plateaued, companies are continuously increasing purchases and management of tablets. According to estimates by research firm Forrester, enterprises will account for 20% of the overall market by 2018, versus 12% last year.
Microsoft still a rival for Apple
Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights & Strategy notes that Apple executives are well aware that the iPad Pro will have to run a first-rate version of Microsoft’s Office Suite, and then only they will be able to market and sell the product as an efficient productivity tool.
Keeping this in view, Apple invited Corporate VP of Microsoft Office Division Kirk Koenigsbauer to the event to address iOS fans. Apple’s head of marketing, Phil Schiller, complimented Microsoft, saying “These guys know productivity,” and also introduced Koenigsbauer to the audience. At the event, Koenigsbauer showed how the Office software worked on the new tablet.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, as a part of his mobile-first, cloud-first strategy, wants his company’s apps and tools to reach a maximum number of people. And if this requires him to align with rival platforms, then he is willing to do that too. However, it must be noted that by allying with rivals, Microsoft in no way is giving up its hardware ambitions. Moorhead notes that the Surface Pro is a direct competitor of the iPad Pro.