Virtual Microsoft Office for iPad{1}

by Robert T
In Jon Brodkin’s article “Virtual Microsoft Office for iPad: Blurry But Free, Legal,” Brodkin explains how the application market for tablets are releasing software to compete for full office suites very similar to Microsoft Office. Microsoft has yet to publish the Microsoft Office suite to tablets and as a direct result, many independent  producers have been trying to release some of their own applications that would be compatible with Microsoft’s standards. According to Brodkin ,”OnLive Desktop, the service that stirred up controversy by providing Windows and Office on the iPad and Android tablets without being properly licensed by Microsoft, has now gone legitimate  with new code on the backend. But there are already reports that the service’s usability is suffering as a result.” On top of that Brodkin mentions another program known now as CloudOn. The application is far from the solution many people are looking for, but it’s stable, it works, and best of all – its free. However, it has been announced that the currently free application will later release a paid upgrade that will include ,”more functionality, such as macros, commenting and annotations.” CloudOn is currently available for iPads but is soon to be released to the Android market. The application is built so that it operates using a cloud hosted by Microsoft Office copy of PowerPoint, Word,and Excel.

According to Brodkin, “These types of apps are generally good for light edits, but lack much of the advanced functionality in Microsoft Office. And while they promise compatibility with Microsoft Office, complicated documents may not be displayed perfectly. For most users, they’re probably fine. But power users may want nothing less than the full version of Microsoft Office, even on their iPads, and that’s where companies like OnLive and CloudOn come in.” Full versions of Microsoft Office, and other programs that could be adapted from desktop operating systems, will require more powerful processors and much more RAM. But with how fast technology has come, and how far it will continue to go, developers can expect higher demand for more powerful applications and software.

It’s really interesting to see the change in the use of technology within the past 15 or so years. A little over a decade ago, laptops were all the talk. The thought that you could put the processing power of a desktop into a portable computer and take it with you was considered the most cutting edge technology. Everyone who could afford a laptop had to get their hands on one. However, today laptops sales are being past up for tablets. For the majority of every laptop owner, laptops are essentially useless without an internet connection. Not to mention the migration to cloud computing is increasing exponentially. It’s easy to compare the similar trend of what the laptop was just a few years ago to what the tablet is today. As cliche as this may sound, tablets are the future. Sooner or later the demand for laptops will fall to the ever higher demand for tablets.


“Virtual Microsoft Office for iPad: Blurry but Free, Legal.” 2012. Wired, Jon Brodkin.  Retrieved April 15, 2012.