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MacBytes
Oct 1, 2009, 04:15 PM
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Category: Apple Hardware
Link: Microsoft Must Make More Apps For The iPhone (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20091001171526)
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Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
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clayj
Oct 1, 2009, 05:07 PM
As an ex-Microsoftie, I agree: Microsoft does need to create some more iPhone apps. Not sure about full Office apps, but definitely some sort of viewer apps for Excel, Word, and Powerpoint would be a good idea. It would be nice to have Messenger on the iPhone, and a Bing utility would be useful.

bobsentell
Oct 1, 2009, 05:19 PM
While I agree Microsoft ought to make more apps, I can understand why they don't. iPhone is the "in" device of the moment, but how long will that last? I'm running a three year old HP laptop and I don't think I'll need to upgrade for a couple more years (and I already tested Win7 on it and it works great). On the other hand, phones tend to only stick around for 18 months.

Making Office MacOS friendly makes sense because that laptop will last up to five years and there will be a continual demand. There is no telling how long iPhone OS will be here. When I bought my HP three years ago, the RAZR was the "in" phone. Why should Microsoft commit resources to a device that may get outdone by another device in three years time? A new Apple device may even end up being the on who kills it.

Basically, there is no history of a mobile device lasting more than a few years. And until that changes, I doubt Microsoft invests money in any device that's not their own.

Plus, the fact Apple doesn't make iWork iPhone compatible, is a good indication it's not worth the effort.

thejadedmonkey
Oct 1, 2009, 05:38 PM
As an ex-Microsoftie, I agree: Microsoft does need to create some more iPhone apps. Not sure about full Office apps, but definitely some sort of viewer apps for Excel, Word, and Powerpoint would be a good idea. It would be nice to have Messenger on the iPhone, and a Bing utility would be useful.

The office standards are open source, I would think anyone could create an app for that... Actually, I'm surprised no one has already.

tbrinkma
Oct 1, 2009, 05:48 PM
While I agree Microsoft ought to make more apps, I can understand why they don't. iPhone is the "in" device of the moment, but how long will that last? I'm running a three year old HP laptop and I don't think I'll need to upgrade for a couple more years (and I already tested Win7 on it and it works great). On the other hand, phones tend to only stick around for 18 months.

Well, the iPhone is already older than that.

Making Office MacOS friendly makes sense because that laptop will last up to five years and there will be a continual demand. There is no telling how long iPhone OS will be here. When I bought my HP three years ago, the RAZR was the "in" phone. Why should Microsoft commit resources to a device that may get outdone by another device in three years time? A new Apple device may even end up being the on who kills it.

Prior to the iPhone, phones were treated *by the manufacturers* as disposable commodities. Even the highest-end phones in the US had no serious market for accessories beyond chargers and cases or software beyond what came on it. Even SDKs were largely one-off deals.

Basically, there is no history of a mobile device lasting more than a few years. And until that changes, I doubt Microsoft invests money in any device that's not their own.

One word. Palm.
Their first smartphone is much more than just 'a few years' old, and they've only just *recently* started using an OS that won't run software back to the beginning of the PalmPilot. I think I had my first PalmOS device back in '99, and I currently have a Centro which runs some of the same software I put on the original. (Not all of it, because most has been replaced with newer stuff with more/better functionality.)

Plus, the fact Apple doesn't make iWork iPhone compatible, is a good indication it's not worth the effort.

I suspect it's in the works, and given that iWorks '09 works on my wife's iBook G3, I suspect it is sufficiently performant to actually be workable on the iPhone. I'm certain it would be simplified though, and it's not going to be a quick port, because the typical desktop interface for something like Numbers/Excel just doesn't work on a screen that size.

voiceofreason23
Oct 1, 2009, 05:53 PM
While I agree Microsoft ought to make more apps, I can understand why they don't. iPhone is the "in" device of the moment, but how long will that last? I'm running a three year old HP laptop and I don't think I'll need to upgrade for a couple more years (and I already tested Win7 on it and it works great). On the other hand, phones tend to only stick around for 18 months.

Making Office MacOS friendly makes sense because that laptop will last up to five years and there will be a continual demand. There is no telling how long iPhone OS will be here. When I bought my HP three years ago, the RAZR was the "in" phone. Why should Microsoft commit resources to a device that may get outdone by another device in three years time? A new Apple device may even end up being the on who kills it.

Basically, there is no history of a mobile device lasting more than a few years. And until that changes, I doubt Microsoft invests money in any device that's not their own.

Plus, the fact Apple doesn't make iWork iPhone compatible, is a good indication it's not worth the effort.

You do realize the iPhone has been out for 3 years already and is the #1 selling handset & smartphone in the world. Its been proven the Apple can find a way to out do them selves every single year, thats why the iPod is the #1 selling MP3 player in the world 9 years in a row. Did I forget to mention the iTunes is the #1 Selling location for Music (against Brick and Morder stores & Online retailers). I'm pretty sure the iPhone will be here for the long hall. I believe Microsoft should make software for the iPhone, they have nothing to lose. Its the same reasoning behind them putting Office on Apples computers. I too would like to see a iPhone OS version of Office (depsite my use of QuickOffice, which is awesome). I'd like to see a native MSN Messenger App as well as a Bing! app. I know its a long shot, but what about Apple releasing a iPhone OS version of Boot Camp, so we can run Windows Mobile on the iPhone...oh wait, that might crash it, since it crashes all the other phones that use Windows Mobile.

tbrinkma
Oct 1, 2009, 06:02 PM
The office standards are open source, I would think anyone could create an app for that... Actually, I'm surprised no one has already.

If you've tried to read (or even keep up to date on) the OOXML format's documentation, you wouldn't be surprised at all. In addition to certain document functionality being stored in *undefined* binary blobs, and other parts of the specs being defined as "like Word95 does it" (without actually saying how Word95 does it), there are numerous flaws with the format as documented ranging from "relatively minor" to "whoever thought that was a good idea should be shot".

Example of stupidity:
There are 3 *different* structures used to save a table, depending on whether you're writing a Word, Power Point, or Excel file. NONE of them are the same as the structure used to save a spreadsheet, which *IS* a table at it's most basic level.

The format of a piece of text is stored as children of a *sibling* node of the text's node's parent. (I want to know your hair color, I can't tell that by inspecting you, I have to inspect your uncle.)

There is currently an effort (lead by Microsoft) in ECMA to 'fix' the OOXML document (as crammed through ISO) by reverting all of the changes that were made to fix certain broken parts of the spec, so that it once again reads (in essence) "do it like Microsoft does it (right now)" (where right now is a constantly moving target).

Saladinos
Oct 1, 2009, 06:04 PM
The office standards are open source, I would think anyone could create an app for that... Actually, I'm surprised no one has already.

They're not open-source, they're royalty-free open standards. Unfortunately, it's a massive, complicated format and embedded objects don't work because they're based on the legacy COM platform.

It's just a waste of time when Apple already offers it built-in.

Galley
Oct 1, 2009, 08:10 PM
The iPhone has always supported viewing of Office documents as mail attachments. A standalone viewer would be nice.

cohibadad
Oct 1, 2009, 09:01 PM
article assume Microsoft is capable of producing worthwhile apps. They don't even seem capable of hiring someone else to produce worthwhile stuff for them these days.

bobsentell
Oct 1, 2009, 10:40 PM
You do realize the iPhone has been out for 3 years already and is the #1 selling handset & smartphone in the world.

From Wikipedia: "The original iPhone was introduced in the United States on June 29, 2007 before being marketed worldwide."
That would make it a little over two years old...not three.

In any case, I never said the iPhone won't last...it'd just be the first.

The absence of a real keyboard is probably what keeps both Microsoft and Apple from putting an office-like program on it. E-mails are one thing, but you won't catch me writing a term paper or doing the details of my budget on the iPhone touchscreen keyboard. I even wait until I have access to Outlook on my desktop before I write long emails.

Buzz Bumble
Oct 2, 2009, 01:32 AM
article assume Microsoft is capable of producing worthwhile apps. They don't even seem capable of hiring someone else to produce worthwhile stuff for them these days.

"These days"?!?!? They've never had anyone capable of producing worthwhile stuff ... they buy out or steal from other comapnies and have done since before day one with the MS-DOS.


iPhone users definitely do not need Microsoft apps clogging and crashing their devices.

madmaxmedia
Oct 2, 2009, 11:50 AM
The iPhone OS is the first truly viable mobile operating system/ interface for a wide audience. It is pretty obvious that it will have much longer legs than say the Motorola RAZR. Besides that, the iPod Touch is also very successful in its own right, and runs the same OS and interface.

There are already plenty of Office viewer apps, and longtime Palm developer Dataviz has created a Docs To Go for iPhone. There are others as well, but I'm not familiar with those.

At the end of the day, developing apps for the iPhone is very much a double-edged sword for Microsoft. As a huge mobile platform that has virtually sprung up overnight, it is a great opportunity for Microsoft to market itself and sell software for a new platform. An office-type app is really just one of the possibilities (as you say, not many people are going to hammer out long documents on an iPhone keyboard.)

OTOH, Microsoft has a couple of competing platforms- Windows Mobile, and now the Zune HD. If they develop a great new mobile app, they would likely rather use it to push their platforms.

From Wikipedia: "The original iPhone was introduced in the United States on June 29, 2007 before being marketed worldwide."
That would make it a little over two years old...not three.

In any case, I never said the iPhone won't last...it'd just be the first.

The absence of a real keyboard is probably what keeps both Microsoft and Apple from putting an office-like program on it. E-mails are one thing, but you won't catch me writing a term paper or doing the details of my budget on the iPhone touchscreen keyboard. I even wait until I have access to Outlook on my desktop before I write long emails.

pdjudd
Oct 2, 2009, 12:30 PM
The absence of a real keyboard is probably what keeps both Microsoft and Apple from putting an office-like program on it. E-mails are one thing, but you won't catch me writing a term paper or doing the details of my budget on the iPhone touchscreen keyboard. I even wait until I have access to Outlook on my desktop before I write long emails.

You honestly wouldn't be doing any of that on a physical hand held keyboard either.. Physical or virtual, the keyboards on cellular devices are only intended for short typing related tasks - the size is just not appropriate for constant long term usage.

Almost everyone I have encountered typing on a smart phone device never sends messages longer than a couple of sentences or so - anything longer and they go "I'll either call them or wait until I am at my desk"

aslucher
Oct 2, 2009, 12:50 PM
The funny thing about it is this,

Microsoft is the largest producer of software yes? Ok then it wont take them very long to write a simple objective c application? C'mon really I am a 19 year old student in culinary arts doing this! I remember when Microsoft used to inspire me and I wanted to work there for year!

By the way the iPhone OS is over 3 years old, that right there is good enough for microsoft. Their reason is not to wait and see what happens, if this was the case there would be NO Microsoft apps, its a matter of pride.

Apple has made a successfull Phone and Phone OS something Microsoft wanted to do for years and sadly they have failed in the success department.

Bill Gates said the MP3 player market would never take off, thats how Apple got to the market first with the iPod.

It's the same reason you dont see Blu-ray or any mention of a device. The reason is pride again, Sony won the High Def Disk market with Blu-ray and the PS3 and they cant use Blu-ray because of the ties with Sony and them feeling like the PS3 won.

They dont want to show large support for something if it makes them feel they have failed in a product.

cwt1nospam
Oct 3, 2009, 06:12 PM
I think some of you are missing the point of the article. Microsoft needs to write iPhone apps but Apple doesn't need Microsoft to write them. Neither do iPhone users. Microsoft is becoming increasingly irrelevant and the longer they abstain from creating iPhone software, the worse their position becomes.

electroshock
Oct 3, 2009, 06:16 PM
I think some of you are missing the point of the article. Microsoft needs to write iPhone apps but Apple doesn't need Microsoft to write them. Neither do iPhone users. Microsoft is becoming increasingly irrelevant and the longer they abstain from creating iPhone software, the worse their position becomes.

Perhaps. Still possible Microsoft isn't doing it because they aren't sure if Apple would approve the application. Apple's usually pretty twitchy with that sort of thing when it involves direct competitors, both large and small.