Microsoft (MSFT) seems to have Apple (APPL) beat when it comes to producing the best productivity apps—even on Apple’s home turf. And the ironic thing is, the company is still lacking when it comes to producing similar software for its own devices.
Microsoft defied the odds this week, as its newest version of OneNote for Mac has jumped to the top of the Mac App Store, trailed by Microsoft OneDrive and Remote Desktop. Microsoft also is in the final stages of releasing an iPad version of its Office suite, a program which is still unavailable to Surface tablet owners. Sounds strange, doesn’t it?
According to The Verge, it’s not weird at all. The PC giant’s success in rival territory is all part of new Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s plan to dominate in the multiplatform software and services field, as Microsoft moves away from hardware production and focuses on cloud services. Just last week, Nadella announced he will host his first press event as Microsoft CEO, where the company is widely expected to be revealing more details about its Office for iPad strategy. Microsoft said that the Office suite for iPad is a follow-up to the previously released Office for iOS which came out last summer.
And if the charts are to be believed, Microsoft still has a lot of sway in the Mac community—at least when it comes to quality productivity apps. Out of more than 700 ratings, OneNote has an average four-star rating, while similar Apple offerings come in at two to three stars on average.
So where is Office for Microsoft's loyal Surface users? For now, it seems the company is focusing on getting its iPad app out of the door, with concerns for PC tablet users falling squarely in the “not a priority” category. While its not surprising Microsoft would want to assert itself among Apple users, it is a little disheartening it's placing that need ahead of Surface tablet users. This is especially peculiar, given that Surface sales have been trailing iPad and Android device sales for some time now.
So is Microsoft simply admitting defeat when it comes to its Surface lineup? Or does the company have something grander planned? Nadella surely will touch upon the issue during the press event in April, but until then, Surface users will have to make do without the signature Office suite.