Today is the big day for Apple, announcing its long rumored iPad Pro. Microsoft, a leader in productivity software, took to the stage in a surprising appearance to talk about a new version of Office that is designed especially to advantage of all the new iPad Pro features.
Office executive Kirk Koenigsbauer was invited on stage by Apple to show off the productivity capabilities of the new tablet. One of the main features Koenigsbauer discussed was the integration of the iPad Pro and the newly-announced Apple Pencil, and how it allows users to annotate documents and draw images right from within the Office applications.
This new capability extends beyond Word, allowing users to use the Pencil to annotate PowerPoint presentations as well as Excel spreadsheets. In PowerPoint, users will be able to draw rough shapes with the Apple Pencil. These drawings will get converted automatically into the cleaner default shapes found in the shapes tool, a nifty trick. Additionally, multitasking on iOS 9 will allow users to run Excel and Word side-by-side. Thanks to this addition, users will be able to pull in charts and graphs from Excel and drop them right into a Word document they are editing.
This appearance though surprising is exactly what the "new" Microsoft is about - promoting productivity regardless of what device your customers are using. Even if that new device is offering features very similar to your own. Microsoft has made it clear that they aren't afraid of making software for competitors' products, releasing many of its own popular applications for iOS, Apple Watch, Android and Android Wear. The iPad Pro is no different here.