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Too Little, Too Late

September 20th, 2013 - 2:08 pm

Steve Ballmer is trying to reassure nervous Wall Street types about his company’s plans:

Speaking about “upside opportunities” that exist for Microsoft, Ballmer talked about porting products to non-Windows platforms. “We don’t have our heads in the sand,” he said during the company’s meeting with financial analysts, which was held in a Bellevue, Washington convention center and webcast live.

In this context Microsoft is “working on everything that you think we should be working on,” Ballmer said.

Windows is the preferred platform for Microsoft applications and remains supremely important, but executives have less “religion” than people think and keep their “eyes wide open” with regards to the opportunities for generating additional revenue by porting products like Office to other platforms, he said.

To be sure, Ballmer didn’t refer specifically to Office for iOS and Android, but it seemed clear that this is what he had in mind, since this issue has been a constant source of criticism for the company, which is leaving a lot of money on the table by not offering full, native versions of Office for the Apple and Google mobile OSes.

iWork is now free with all new iOS devices, and dirt cheap for old ones. Google just made Quickoffice free to anyone with a Google account. And now Ballmer thinks it’s somehow reassuring to drop some hints that Office is coming to other platforms soonish-ish?

Let me ask you something, fellow smartphone and tablet users. When you’ve been using Office-level mobile apps for cheap, or free, for years, what’s the incentive to pay Microsoft for something at some unspecified date in the future?

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All Comments   (4)
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Heh, Microsoft finally got their flight simulator program to a point where it's really showing signs of usefullness for actual flight training as well as being quite entertaining and what do they do? Dump it, close down the office developing it, apparently sell off the rights to LockMart who promptly markets Prepare3d aka Flight Sim X. Yep, pretty trivial item on their balance sheet but of a piece with many recent 'decisions'.

They actually pay this Ballmer guy money? Y'sure him and Jobs weren't high school buds?
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Ballmer is promising at some point in the future, maybe, an Office suite bloated w/ super-high end features that 99% of users never use and that would be clunky as hell on a mobile device. All for a few hundred dollars.

Robin is right, sand would be an improvement.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I discovered this when I bought my first mac. iWork was cheap and did nearly all of what I needed to do. Otherwise I used OpenOffice.

I've found over the years that mac software isn't anywhere near as expensive as MS for most apps. I just couldn't see me plunking down a few hundred on an office suite that I'd only need for the occasional word doc.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"“We don’t have our heads in the sand,” he said during the company’s meeting with financial analysts..."

Uh, if your head was in the sand, it would be an immense improvement albeit not as warm as its current location.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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