According to the news today, Office for iOS (and Android) will be a free reader app with a subscription for basic editing functionality. My assorted thoughts
- Keeping “real” Office a Surface/WinRT exclusive in an attempt to differentiate
- Even the minimum $1/month $12/year price could help alleviate the overall “race to the bottom”
- “Freemium” doesn’t guarantee you any money, but it does guarantee your competitors will get less
By making it a free reader with inexpensive but limited write support, millions of iOS and Android users are going to conclude that Office sucks, rather than concluding they should buy a Surface. It’s unfortunate that Microsoft is choosing to spend its resource on the uphill battle of Windows 8 rather than the downhill battle of having all the “must have” apps on iOS. They’re confusing themselves for an OS company when they’re merely a software company.