Microsoft Office or Skydrive Pro unlikely to come to IOS (or Android) in the near future

apple vs microsoftThose of you who have been patiently putting up with the shortcomings of document editing on your iPads and Nexus tablets while you wait for Microsoft to release a mobile version of Microsoft Office®, will be sorely disappointed by the recent declarations of Steve Balmer and Kurt DelBene, the head of Microsoft’s Office division.

In short, you can forget about Microsoft Office on anything other than a Windows Phone or Windows 8 tablet.  The same goes for the confusingly branded Skydrive Pro, which was announced by Microsoft in 2012 as being the new mobile offline client for Microsoft SharePoint.

If you have not been keeping up to speed with what is becoming something of a saga, Microsoft and Apple are in the middle of a major dispute over the payment of royalty fees to Apple for upgrades or paid subscriptions within in apps that have been downloaded from the IOS App Store for free.  Essentially, Apple is saying that if a developer charges for an app or service relating to an app that was free at the time of download, they want their 30% royalty fee.  This is something that Microsoft has found hard to stomach and so they have (for the foreseeable future) decided to eschew the IOS platform.  [The lack of availability of Microsoft Apps on Google Play is due to other reasons].

Microsoft’s mobile SharePoint plans up in the air?
All of this means that Microsoft’s much lauded SharePoint 2013 mobile functionality with an offline mobile client, is unlikely to see the light of day.  Even Gartner seem to be frustrated by Microsoft’s inability to get their story straight on mobile and had this to say in a recent research note:

“Microsoft hasn’t given much attention to mobility on SharePoint, and there doesn’t seem to be a sense of urgency around it, which is bewildering”

Fear not however, because companies like Azurati have developed solutions that provide cross-platform mobile SharePoint with on and offline working options and the ability to use full Microsoft Office to edit documents, spreadsheets or presentations live on any mobile device.

Azurati doc live edit 2

Figure 1:  Users select ‘edit document’ in SharePoint2Go

Azurati doc live edit 4

Figure 2:  Editing a document in Microsoft Word via SharePoint2Go

Azurati has integrated Microsoft Office Web Apps® into its HTML5 SharePoint2Go® solution, allowing documents stored in Microsoft SharePoint to be edited live and saved back to SharePoint without having to download documents to third party editing applications and then having to upload them back to SharePoint (sometimes with document formatting issues) at a later time.  Its a really neat solution and gives users what they want:  to be able to edit documents in Microsoft Office.

To find out more about Azurati’s SharePoint2Go solution and to arrange a free trial, visit: www.azurati.com/products/sharepoint2go

 

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Is Apple’s dispute with Microsoft over Skydrive for IOS forcing Microsoft to focus more on HTML5?

SkyDrive

Last month, we heard that the cause of the delay to updates to a number of Microsoft applications (like SkyDrive and SkyDrive Pro) on the IOS App Store was a dispute between Apple and Microsoft over Apple’s insistence that all app developers who monetize their Apps that have been downloaded from the Apple App Store pay Apple a 30% royalty fee.

For those developers who post free apps to the App Store, they have nothing to worry about.  However, Apple is now starting to hone in on those developers that use the App Store as a free channel to market by publishing ‘free’ apps that later require the user to pay a fee or licence to the developer.  Apple says that these in-app fees and purchases should be subject to the same 30% royalty payment as Apps that are paid for directly in the App Store marketplace.

This is a big problem for Microsoft and other App developers because Apple’s terms and conditions, which Apple states are uniform for all developers, require the developer to pay Apple a 30% margin on all in-app purchases, upgrades, enhancements, etc. – in perpituity; even if the end user switches to another mobile platform in the future.

Microsoft has found this condition quite hard to digest as you might imagine and now finds itself in a state of limbo as far as its portfolio of IOS apps are concerned.  For instance, the IOS SkyDrive app has a new version ready to be deployed with important feature and security updates, but it has not been published to the IOS App Store yet.

Enter HTML5 Apps
Coincidentally, Microsoft recently announced major new enhancements to its HTML5 version of SkyDrive, supporting swiping gestures and drag and drop features that many would only think possible with native device applications.

So, has Microsoft begun the process of by-passing native application App Stores to focus on rich cross-platform HTML5 mobile web applications?  In reality, the answer in the short term is probably not, but they are certainly pursuing a multi-channel mobile strategy that will make the HTML5 option more attractive in the future, particularly if it means having to avoid costly fees to App Store operators.

In the enterprise space however, we see HTML5 applications having a much more powerful impact.  HTML5 mobile applications are the only true way for a CIO to implement an all-inclusive BYOD or cross-platform mobile strategy economically and they do not require costly investments in Mobile Device Management (MDM) infrastructures.

Check out www.azurati.com to see how HTML5-based mobile applications are being used in the enterprise to transform the productivity of mobile business users.