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MacRumors
Jan 4, 2012, 09:12 AM
http://images.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2012/01/04/cloudons-office-app-for-ipad-sold-out-pulled-from-app-store/)


Yesterday, we reported (http://www.macrumors.com/2012/01/03/cloudon-brings-free-cloud-hosted-microsoft-office-functionality-to-ipad/) on a new iPad app from Silicon Valley startup CloudOn that seeks to offer a cloud-hosted version of Microsoft Office for the tablet device.

http://images.macrumors.com/article-new/2012/01/cloudon_banner.jpg


A number of readers have noted that the app is no longer available in the App Store, and a note posted on the company's website (http://site.cloudon.com/) indicates that it is currently "sold out".Thanks for your support of CloudOn! We're currently sold out. We look forward to the feedback we will receive as we continue to support the many users that have registered in this first phase. If you missed out on our first release, please sign up here (http://site.cloudon.com/soldoutemailform/capture.html).Given the publicity the app has received and its price tag of free, it is unsurprising that the company has apparently experienced a significant amount of interest from users. And with the actual service running on CloudOn's own servers, it is likely that that demand has simply outstripped the company's server capacity.

Article Link: CloudOn's Office App for iPad 'Sold Out', Pulled from App Store (http://www.macrumors.com/2012/01/04/cloudons-office-app-for-ipad-sold-out-pulled-from-app-store/)



justperry
Jan 4, 2012, 09:23 AM
How can it be sold out when its free ;)

soco
Jan 4, 2012, 09:28 AM
Yeah, "sold out" was an odd choice of words by CloudOn. Could have been better to have used "at capacity" or something.

Could just be a marketing thing. The idea of something being sold out is probably still easier to understand to the average person than a data server being at capacity.

shartypants
Jan 4, 2012, 09:28 AM
I imagine that once people (like me) that figure out it sucks, more server capacity will free up.

justperry
Jan 4, 2012, 09:30 AM
Yeah, "sold out" was an odd choice of words. Could have been better to have used "at capacity" or something.

Could just be a marketing thing. The idea of something being sold out is probably still easier to understand to the average person than a data server being at capacity.

MacRumors actually had it right -- "sold out" --

jayducharme
Jan 4, 2012, 09:39 AM
Is this the first instance of an app "selling out?" I know that other apps taxed certain servers, but I don't know of any other app giving the impression that there was a limited supply of downloads.

farleysmaster
Jan 4, 2012, 09:54 AM
Is this the first instance of an app "selling out?" I know that other apps taxed certain servers, but I don't know of any other app giving the impression that there was a limited supply of downloads.

I thought the same thing happened with that flash-supporting browser?

omegaphil6
Jan 4, 2012, 09:58 AM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

This was never a solution anyway. Only a band-aid

thejd
Jan 4, 2012, 10:09 AM
Is this the first instance of an app "selling out?" I know that other apps taxed certain servers, but I don't know of any other app giving the impression that there was a limited supply of downloads.

I believe you are thinking of Skyfire. The issue there was the insufficient number of Flash licenses. Once Skyfire bought more it was relisted in the App Store.

soco
Jan 4, 2012, 10:33 AM
MacRumors actually had it right -- "sold out" --
Huh? I'm not questioning MacRumors' reporting. We're commenting on the company's use of "sold out" and not this site's.

jclardy
Jan 4, 2012, 10:51 AM
Huh? I'm not questioning MacRumors' reporting. We're commenting on the company's use of "sold out" and not this site's.

It means that they raised some venture capital with an idea and figured they would find a way to make money on it later. Now they are just bleeding money as they pay the enormous hosting and licensing costs for all these users for free.

dustin8675
Jan 4, 2012, 10:56 AM
The program is only 3 megs so it obviously isn't a full office suite that runs on the iPad. What it does is open up your Office files through Dropbox into an Office program that is running on their servers. You must have an active Internet connection for the software to even open. You cannot edit or create new ones without being connected to the internet. I did download it and it does work great. You will see a small lag in the touch screen as the program is not running directly on your pad but that you are looking at an image of your file being opened on another computer. It will definitely get me by until Microsoft comes out with something that runs directly on the iPad and without an Internet connection. also there is a timer which counts down from 2 hrs. So my guess is that eventually they will charge for timed usage. After they get a little more buzz that is. So free is never free.

DavidFoster
Jan 4, 2012, 10:56 AM
I managed to snag CloudOn when it was available. Using it requires an internet connection. It is somewhat sluggish, but it enables most of the functions of the main Office applications, and that's a significant improvement over any competitors in the Mobile OS space. There's no doubt in my mind that this app will prove to be a useful tool to the internet-connected road warrior.

Hopefully they'll 'restock' the app soon. :D

Southshore
Jan 4, 2012, 11:00 AM
It's a little lumpy (icons look a bit blurred in the meu bar) but otherwise, its pretty good. Ive opened all three kinds of files, and the screen environment is nearly identical to that of a desktop. I am on an original iPad, and so far, I like it.

soco
Jan 4, 2012, 11:34 AM
I managed to snag CloudOn when it was available. Using it requires an internet connection. It is somewhat sluggish, but it enables most of the functions of the main Office applications, and that's a significant improvement over any competitors in the Mobile OS space. There's no doubt in my mind that this app will prove to be a useful tool to the internet-connected road warrior.

Hopefully they'll 'restock' the app soon. :D
I love your rendition of Carol of the Bells.

chuffman15
Jan 4, 2012, 11:57 AM
woohoo
first tether and now cloudon. im on a roll
thanks macrumors

PantherJeep
Jan 4, 2012, 12:23 PM
I was able to get the app yesterday, but apparently not before everyone else who got it before me had swamped the service. I could neither open any existing docs, nor create a new one. So in my case, I'm getting exactly what I paid for. :p

Still, not a bad idea if they can keep capacity apace demand. So far they have not demonstrated that ability, but maybe it'll be viable in the future. :)

Irock619
Jan 4, 2012, 12:43 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

What about "Pages" for iPad? Isn't this a word processor for iPad? Its also iCloud compatible. Documents created in Pages can also be saved as a Word compatible file so that any PC can open it. What is the purpose of this CloudOn app anyways?

chuffman15
Jan 4, 2012, 01:03 PM
I was able to get the app yesterday, but apparently not before everyone else who got it before me had swamped the service. I could neither open any existing docs, nor create a new one. So in my case, I'm getting exactly what I paid for. :p

Still, not a bad idea if they can keep capacity apace demand. So far they have not demonstrated that ability, but maybe it'll be viable in the future. :)

i installed the app lastnight and i was able to navigate through documents both word and excel. i couldnt get photos to work. i guess they can fix that bug while theyre trying to find more server space:D

longofest
Jan 4, 2012, 01:17 PM
I'm not sure if it's server capacity so much as licensing. I mean, how many concurrent versions of Office can this company run without really racking up a huge bill from microsoft, and not even receiving any income!

Rocketman
Jan 4, 2012, 02:44 PM
Microsoft itself sells a cloud version of office for between $25 and $10 a month per user depending on pricing structure. They discount some users but not others.

Based on that I would expect then to introduce their service again at at least $10/month but add value.

If I could simply get MS Exchange and MS Outlook access on my Mac independent of OS level, yes including OSX 10.3 and beyond, I and a few hundred of my collegues would be ready.

The other thing we want is RIM Blackberry network access on our iPhones independent of cost, and a bluetooth thumb keyboard.

Then Apple would literally dominate mobile for business with WOM and buzz, not tactics and marketing being the basis for mass adoption.

Just Rocketman

uh, ha, da, he said "mass adoption"

kinderdm
Jan 4, 2012, 02:51 PM
If I'm understanding how this is set up correctly then how is this really different or better than just running a remote desktop with your computer on your ios device. I do this sort of thing all the time with Teamviewer and my home PC. I can just open the file and work on it that way and I save it in Dropbox just in case I need to view it some other way and to have more access options for the file. I'm not saying my way is perfect or that this is a particularly bad option but based on what people are saying they seem to be on par with each other. Maybe anyone waiting for this to become available again could try my way and see how they like it. Plus you don't have to worry about being charged down the road once you get used to it.

iDuel
Jan 4, 2012, 05:35 PM
How would we be able to re-download the application from iCloud if it was pulled by the developer?:confused:

MacRumorUser
Jan 5, 2012, 06:55 AM
I imagine that once people (like me) that figure out it sucks, more server capacity will free up.

Yeah I know, have you tried cutting and pasting. It's an exercise in frustration.

The only good thing is, it may hurry up the release of a proper version of Office for iPad.

Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

What about "Pages" for iPad? Isn't this a word processor for iPad? Its also iCloud compatible. Documents created in Pages can also be saved as a Word compatible file so that any PC can open it. What is the purpose of this CloudOn app anyways?


It's free and based on Office 2010 Pc so users more familiar with the windows version will be more at home.

That being said, in it's current form, and the fact it obviously relies on an always on internet connection to function, Pages offers a better experience, albeit one that Office users, especially those coming from PC will need to make some adapting to.

A proper version of Office for iPad would really be preferential though, and hopefully with cloudon - it may be a kick in the right direction to seeing that materialize.

FakeWozniak
Jan 5, 2012, 02:47 PM
Or maybe Microsofts lawyers have contacted them and required 1 license of MS Office per subscriber.

Anyone that downloaded it still able to use it? I suspect that this won't be available in 3 months.

Dornblaser
Jan 5, 2012, 04:14 PM
FYI - it is back in the iTunes store. I just downloaded it.

axual
Jan 5, 2012, 07:45 PM
How can it be sold out when its free ;)

There may very well be licensing involved in this ... so they can indeed be sold out in terms of numbers of virtual connections to the back end running MS software.

RedTomato
Jan 6, 2012, 03:28 AM
There may very well be licensing involved in this ... so they can indeed be sold out in terms of numbers of virtual connections to the back end running MS software.

Definitely licensing. At a wild stab, from my recent forays into the wild and wonderful (!) world of Microsoft volume licensing, I would guess they are using something like Terminal Server Remote Access licensing. These are licences to allow remote users to access Office on a central server.

CloudOn are probably renting a large array of virtualised servers running Terminal Server. Each Terminal Server can take up to maybe 200 remote Office users (as this is light use, documents only, no Outlook). Licenses are maybe $50 each (wild guess) but this is a one-off cost.

2,000 licenses would be $100,000 in VC funding, plus the volume costs of Office and Terminal Server and the monthly rental for 10 virtual servers / bandwidth.

With 2000 licences, you could support up to maybe 20,000 users, as most will only use this app for maybe 30 minutes at a time, and many will only use it once a week.

If they can move to a low per-hour charge,this business plan has legs, but it risks being wiped out when / if Microsoft release a decent Office 365 app for iphone /ipad.

Still, a limited time-based rental of Office on ipad/ iphone would suit many people better than committing to a year's worth of paying for Office365 plus the setup involved.