Ed Bott does an excellent job in laying out the differences between all the new Office offerings from Microsoft. This will be my go to article when someone inquires about the new Office.
When will this begin in the enterprise? "Microsoft’s share of the consumer market has dropped from 95% to 20% in 8 years via @ExtremeTech"
If the IDC report in this article is accurate then “Google is winning the war” (Eric Schmidt reference) in the consumer space. The question to ponder, is when will Google begin tackling Microsoft’s bread & butter, the enterprise? The large business market is ripe for interruption due to the lack of Office productivity alternatives. Most enterprise IT professionals have researched other alternatives but none of the open source solutions stack up to Microsoft’s Office.
Up to now Google has just dabbled in the business space with their Google Docs products and has been pretty successful. Larry Paige should be challenging Google to find a way to provide a legitimate alternative solution for enterprises to consider in the coming years.
The one thing that enterprises, the ones clamoring for iPad Office, can expect is the increased prices for Office. All enterprise IT folks need to review their enterprise agreement and really understand how the iPad version of Office will be licensed.
Brian Madden makes some valid points in the linked article that Microsoft is relying on the Office brand to sell the Surface. If this is Microsoft’s thinking then the Surface is doomed from the outset. The issue is that the current version of Office is not suitable for the touch interface as anyone who has used it virtually on a iPad will a test to. Microsoft will most likely state that this the reason that they are providing the keyboard with the Surface but if the keyboard is required and the pricing is near an ultrabook, then why wouldn’t one just buy an ultrabook. One of the points in Madden’s article is that Office will come for free on the RT version of the Surface. However, call me skeptical, but I doubt that Office will be free to the enterprise because nothing is ever free from Microsoft.