Microsoft Passing on $2.5 Billion in Decision To Not Release Office for iPad

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Microsoft OfficeMicrosoft’s reluctance to release Office for iPad may be a dig at Apple, but the move could result in the computer company losing billions in potential revenue.

According to an investor note released by Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Holt, the release of a full, native version of Microsoft Office on iPad could be expected to generate roughly $2.5 billion in revenue. Holt’s estimations are based off Microsoft selling the software to consumers at $60, but at that price point, Holt says that roughly a third of all iPad users would likely purchase the program.

With forecasts predicting roughly 200 million iPad users by the year 2014, it would appear the decision to fully bring Microsoft Office onto the iPad platform would be a no-brainer. However, despite the tempting potential profits, Microsoft does not appear to have any concrete plans to bring a full version of its Office app to the Apple’s tablet.

Microsoft is close to releasing an Office app for Apple’s tablet, but this is going to be a free version that will only allow users to view Word, Excel, and Powerpoint files, not edit them. That will require subscribing to Office 365, which is an online version of the app suite. This simpler iOS app has been delayed by a tiff between Apple and Microsoft over fees for in-app purchaes. Apple is supposedly holding out for a 30% cut of Office 365 subscriptions sold in-app by Office for iOS. 

The tension between the two companies has already resulted in Microsoft delaying their updates to the SkyDrive iOS app, along with the launch of the Office mobile app. So it’s not that surprising that this computer company would also be reluctant to release a full, native Office suite for the iPad as well. 



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