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Microsoft to Conquer iOS with Office 365

Microsoft to Conquer iOS with Office 365

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) has nearly confirmed that it will bring a version of Office to iOS and Android devices in 2013.

Tentatively referred to as Office Mobile, the introductory product will allow users to view documents created with Word, Excel or PowerPoint. To edit those documents, users will have to subscribe to Office 365.

To be clear, Microsoft has not officially announced that Office Mobile will come to iOS or Android. But if it does, the company could be sitting on a goldmine.

For the past several years, Microsoft has populated the Windows platform with the best and most up-to-date versions of Office. The company provided Mac users with Office as well, but the software is always designed for Windows first.

That strategy has paid off. Businesses have adopted Office as their primary business computing tool for producing documents, spreadsheets and presentations. They have also welcomed Windows with open arms.

But Microsoft is moving into a new era. While the company might think of Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) as more of a competitor than Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), it can use both firms to its advantage. By bringing Office to iOS and Android, Microsoft will gain access to hundreds of millions of additional consumers worldwide. By being able to share and view Office documents with ease, these consumers will slowly become more comfortable with this format. While they may have once turned to Pages or Google Docs, they could soon have access to Word, the most popular program in its class.

Some critics believe that Microsoft should stop making Office for other platforms. In doing so, they think that more consumers and business professionals will buy Windows machines.

That might have been true in the past, but with so many alternatives, no one buys Windows just for Office. But by bringing Office to additional platforms, Microsoft could continue to increase its revenue -- and add new subscribers to Office 365.

Follow me @LouisBedigianBZ

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