Microsoft Office coming to an iPad near you!



The presentation design industry is awash with rumours at the moment that Microsoft will imminently be releasing a version of Office for use on the iPad, but what’s all the fuss about?

The iPad is fast becoming the leading presentation device on the market. In 2013, Apple sold nearly twice as many iPads as the next nearest tablet vendor, Samsung and the tablet market as a whole overtook the sales of PC systems.

So there are a lot of iPad’s out there, and judging by the amount of presentation requests we’ve had lately, business users want to harness the iPads potential to present their business ideas, and messages to potential clients. The problem is compatibility, MS Office and therefore PowerPoint, the leading presentation tool is just not compatible with the iPad, which means that business users are reduced to finding applications or work around solutions either on or off line, to enable them to convey their presentations.

The sad fact is that most of these solutions are just not that good, often they solve one problem and at the same time create another, image quality is poor, they are inflexible, expensive or just time consuming, there is really nothing out there that allows the business user to deliver PowerPoint presentations effectively on the iPad.

How Microsoft chooses to deliver this application is yet to be revealed, most commentators seem to be airing towards some form of application as part of an Office 365 subscription. If this is the case its success will be dependent on the extent to which it is compatible with the full range of PowerPoint features. No doubt there will be some teething troubles, I’m particularly looking forward to the challenges posed by cross platform file formats especially in the relation to video content.

Some commentators are suggesting that due to the lack of a keyboard, Microsoft doesn’t see the iPad as a ‘creation tool’ and that the application will merely play the PowerPoint file allowing only basic changes to content. This doesn’t really tally with what Microsoft has done in the past, deployment of PowerPoint on the iPhone allows users to create and edit presentations in much the same way as happens on a normal workstation or laptop.

What most business users are looking for is a ‘One device’ solution. They want to be able to open, create, present and send presentations , they don’t want to waste time messing about creating and uploading a presentation on a laptop or workstation, then downloading it and presenting  from their iPad. Let’s hope Microsoft has listened to its customers and delivers something they can use to its full potential, and fully exploit the power of the iPad for delivering well designed, excellent PowerPoint presentations.

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