Microsoft Office for Android and iOS? Adobe holds the answer.

Adobe IdeasI recently read an interesting article on The Guardian about Microsoft releasing apps for the iPad. Being an Android and windows user this piqued my interest, hoping there would be some some mention of an MS Office release for Android.

Apps like Quickoffice HD are alright, but they still have a lot of flaws. They don’t render everything perfectly, some of the work done on a phone or tablet doesn’t look right when re-opened on the PC, and there is a lot of missing functionality. Still, it’s better than nothing.

The Guardian article points out several times that Microsoft’s biggest driver behind any play here would be revenue. They don’t want to cannibalize the sales of their office suite on by offering a cheap app version of the product that would move users to their mobile devices (tablets and phones).

Yet, in the same breath, they want to capture the mobile working crowd and they can’t expect everyone to abandon their iPads and Android Tablets for a Windows 8 tablet or to pay several hundred dollars for an office suite app. For a solution, Microsoft doesn’t have to turn much farther than Adobe who is already working hard to capture the mobile working crowd.

Check out the suite of Adobe Touch Apps. Fairly priced at just $10 each, they have launched a tablet version of Photoshop, an Illustrator like app, an app version of Kuler their color palette, a collage app, a presentation and note app for designers, and an interactive wire frame app. All of which hook into the Adobe cloud and have plugins on their full software counterparts to download projects you upload to the cloud.

This is the model Microsoft needs to follow. Microsoft needs to make Android & iOS apps that are weaker versions of their full software counterparts, but retain all of the basic functionality. Then, create some plugins so projects can be uploaded from your tablet to Microsoft’s cloud and then downloaded to your workstation when you get back to it.

If Microsoft were to do this (and offer the apps at say $10 a piece) they could help spur the use of tablets in a business environment. Once that happens, they can start making power plays for people to switch to a windows tablet that has full versions of the Office Suite on it.

I can see the campaign now “Why settle for limited functionality?” or “From an airliner tray table, to a cab, to the boardroom. Get work done anywhere, anytime, with a powerful windows tablet. Featuring the full Office Suite.”

What do you think? Will MS ever catch up or will they just keep dropping the ball in the mobile market?

Thanks for reading,

Josh S Peters