Analyst: Microsoft can "start printing money" if Office for iOS arrives

There have been rumors for years that Microsoft has plans to release versions of its Office software for iOS and Android. The most recent scuttlebutt on this topic has an iOS client coming in February or March, and for Android in May, for free to read documents, with a subscription to Office 365 needed to write and edit files.

Naturally, Microsoft has yet to comment on its Office plans for these two rival mobile operating systems. However, Computerworld.com reports that Bob O'Donnell, an analyst for the research firm IDC, thinks that Microsoft could be very happy with the results ... if they launch Office in a timely manner.

O'Donnell states, "The day they introduce Office for iOS and Android, they'll start printing money. But if they wait too long, they risk people finding alternatives, or workarounds." In fact such workarounds already exist in the cloud-based services of CloudOn.

So what's the rush? O'Donnell thinks the rise of the seven inch tablet could hurt any iOS or Android port of Office, which he thinks would work best with a 10-inch tablet. He states, "We think that 10 inch tablets peaked in 2012. And Office will be much less important on 7 inch tablets. So if they don't move soon, they risk giving up this golden egg."

O'Donnell has one more prediction. He thinks that the launch of Office for iOS and Android could kill off Microsoft's Windows RT OS. He says, "The operating system battle is a lot harder for Microsoft to fight than the office productivity battle, so if I'm (Microsoft CEO Steve) Ballmer, I would put more of my bets on Office."

Source: Computerworld.com | Image via Microsoft

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