Microsoft Office is a staple of many people's lives, ranging from elementary school students to CEOs and everyone in between. Accessing Office has become easier than ever as of late, with personal computers, smart phones, and tablets becoming so prominent and easily available. The software may well be even more accessible in just a short while, as Microsoft has heavily hinted that it will be announcing a version of Office that will be available for the iPad.
Microsoft's CEO, the newly-appointed Satya Nadella, will be holding a press conference on March 27, 2014 in San Francisco. Microsoft has officially stated that the event will largely focus on cloud and mobile applications, but rumors have been flying all around that Microsoft for iPad may be announced, as well.
If these rumors prove true, the action will set Nadella far apart from former Microsot CEO Steve Ballmer, who reportedly refused to make Office available for the iPad. This decision was most likely made out of fear that the availability of Office on an Apple device might make sales for Microsoft's own Surface tablets plummet. If the rumors prove true, it will be interesting to see how this plays out.
The excitement generated from these rumors has garnered action from investors. According to Reuters, Microsoft's shares "scaled levels last seen in the dotcom boom" once rumors began to fly about the possible iPad-compatible Office. The shares "rose as much as 5 percent to $39.90 on Tuesday, adding $15 billion to the company's market value." Microsoft hasn't seen shares worth that much since June of 2000.
The hype over this possibility is intense, but Nigam Arora over at Forbes adds a somewhat somber voice, pointing out that the rise in stock is not terribly significant in the long run, and that Office, as it is, does not adequately utilize the iPad interface. He also points out that, as Ballmer feared, there is a high possibility that the iPad will "siphon off sales of Surface."
Ultimately, it will be interesting to see if these rumors prove to be true at all, and if they do, how they will effect both Microsoft and Nadella. Here's to hoping the results are positive!
Image via Apple.