Print 11 comment(s) - last by pepsimax2k.. on Apr 3 at 7:13 AM

Web-based Office edition not coming this year

The smartphone market is booming thanks to mobile devices like the iPhone and the Blackberry. As other segments of the market are in decline, the smartphone market continues to grow in part because the average smartphone offers multiple functionalities in one device.

Users of most smartphones can access the internet, check email, and view/ edit Office documents. This capability allows the smartphone to do things that required a mobile phone and a laptop not too long ago.

One of the key things that many users of the iPhone are clamoring for is something that many other smartphones already have -- the ability to edit documents from Microsoft Office. EWeek reports that Microsoft's Stephen Elop, President of Microsoft Business Division, hinted at the Web 2.0 conference that an Office application for the iPhone might be in the works.

Office document editing capability is one of the things that Elop says Microsoft recognizes as a demand from the smartphone market. Tim O'Reilly asked Elop directly if that means the software giant is working on a version of Office for the iPhone. Elop replied, "Not yet—keep watching."

Elop did get into detail about the ad-supported version of Office that Microsoft will offer on the Web. He says that Microsoft is still working on the web-based Office application and that it has to be very careful that the web-based application has the same interface and functionality that users are used to with the locally installed Office versions.

Elop says with over 500 million global Office users extra care has to be taken to ensure that an online version of Office doesn’t fundamentally change anything in the interface. He also says that Microsoft isn’t looking to introduce an application to counter any supposed threat offered by Google Docs. Rather, Microsoft is looking to release an application with innovation and value that enterprise users would be willing to use and pay for.

As for the time frame Microsoft envisions for the ad-supported online Office version, Elop simply says that the release of even a beta offering "won’t be in this calendar year."

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A welcome addition
By Whaaambulance on 4/2/2009 11:59:43 AM , Rating: 3
I would be glad to get this on my iPhone. As long as the office applications would retain the majority of their functionality with the move to the mobile platform, I would definitely be lining up for this.

RE: A welcome addition
By spread on 4/2/2009 12:08:11 PM , Rating: 4
As the owner of a small company, this would be perfect for getting my employees to type up a 6 page document.


RE: A welcome addition
By Whaaambulance on 4/2/2009 12:17:42 PM , Rating: 2
Well, I don't think anyone would actually do that. Mobile apps have limited uses, but if I can open important docs and edit them as needed for meetings, etc it would be nice to have that ability.

RE: A welcome addition
By omnicronx on 4/2/2009 12:38:36 PM , Rating: 3
Too bad when you edit something it screws with the formatting, Mobile Office is only good as a viewer, it is quite useless for just about anything beyond the basics (i.e a simple spreadsheet or non formatted word document).

Its nice that I can open documents, but mobile Word does not even let you save the original Full fledged word document, you can only save as, presumably with many features disabled.

I have edited an excel sheet once and a while, as formatting is less of a concert, but you cannot create Powerpoint docs at all (its only a viewer), and you really can't edit or create decent Word docs.

RE: A welcome addition
By Whaaambulance on 4/2/2009 1:11:10 PM , Rating: 2
That's why I was saying, if they could keep alot of the functionality, it would be great. Unfortunately the platform is the limiting factor.

RE: A welcome addition
By GaryJohnson on 4/2/2009 2:15:36 PM , Rating: 2
I've never had that problem with office mobile 6.1.

I can't use all the formatting options, but if those formatting options are already in the file and I edit it and save the file all the formatting stays intact.

RE: A welcome addition
By cheetah2k on 4/2/2009 7:14:12 PM , Rating: 2
Finally we might be able to call the iPhone a "Smartphone" :-D

RE: A welcome addition
By ksherman on 4/2/2009 12:41:41 PM , Rating: 2
Right, but then you need to get the edits into people's hands, not just on your iPhone, so you email it to your self and have to print it... Might as well have just done that on a *real* computer. You can already receive and view documents on the iPhone, which I have found to be handy enough.

By steven975 on 4/2/2009 12:48:55 PM , Rating: 3
I don't see why I would need (or pay for) trivial little apps on the iPhone like tip calculators, car lease payment calculators, or mortgage calculators. I don't know how many times a friend has said "look at this cool app" and I've said my PalmOS phone did that in 2001.

In fact, half the reason I'm still on WM is Mobile Office. While it has uses, it is not a full office suite, nor do I expect that. With an Office Suite that I could use to open attachments, and do a few ad-hoc calculations with, I might look into iPhone.

I think the people hoping this will be a $0.99 app are going to be disappointed. I think it will be more like $50-$100, but an enterprise might consider that.

If I were
By Shadowself on 4/2/2009 1:29:19 PM , Rating: 3
to be using an iPhone the only purpose to have a MS Office suite on it would be if someone sent me a document/spreadsheet that needed
1. it proofed and very limited corrections made, and
2. a very quick turn around while I was out and about.

Any other situation would require me to at least pull out a laptop to do either extensive corrections or edits. I can't imagine trying to do major work on a MS Office document/spreadsheet on a mobile phone.

all i want is...
By pepsimax2k on 4/3/2009 7:13:43 AM , Rating: 2
An easily searchable spreadsheet program and that baby's all mine :-)

"Folks that want porn can buy an Android phone." -- Steve Jobs
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