Writing at Box Free IT, Sholto Macpherson says Microsoft’s document creation domination is unlikely to extend to the cloud. We’re talking here about whether people will use Microsoft Office as a way of making cloud documents.
Macpherson points to two key trends moving against Microsoft’s favour: tablets replacing PCs and the lock-in between cloud service providers and their own apps.
Trend one means few tablets run Windows while Apple’s iOS and Android are more popular. That hurts Microsoft’s chances. It doesn’t help that there still isn’t an iOS or Android version of Office.
The second trend says people who use, say, Google’s cloud suite will be more likely to use Google’s apps than Office. Another point is what Macpherson calls the ‘slow waning of the productivity suite’, there are now cloud apps for specific tasks which bypass Microsoft Office for jobs like creating invoices or quotes.
One thing overlooked in the analysis is Microsoft’s web apps work just as well on non-Microsoft devices as any other apps. I sometimes use them on my iPad. Although I prefer iA Writer for written documents over Word, I haven’t found a similar replacement for Excel.
This doesn’t change the key point, Microsoft simply doesn’t hold all the cards any longer. Given that tablets and cloud computing are the future, it seems Microsoft’s dominance across all personal devices is over regardless of the success of Windows 8.