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iPad + Office + Apple + Microsoft: Why It All Makes Sense

iPad + Office + Apple + Microsoft: Why It All Makes Sense

Rumors of Office for the iPad flared up again this week after The Daily posted an alleged photo of it, after apparently getting some hands on with a near-complete build. Some of you may recall me tweeting that day, what I thought was a crazy thought: Apple inviting Microsoft on stage next month at the iPad 3 keynote to demo Office for iPad. Apparently it wasn’t as crazy as I originally thought, because others are thinking it might just happen.

Office for the iPad makes total sense, though. And I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple did give Microsoft some stage time to unveil it at the new-iPad event in a few weeks.

Those are the words of Dan Frommer of SplatF, someone who (in my mind) has always made strong, rational cases for his arguments, never sensationalising or using hyperbole for the sake of it. In an article published a few hours ago, he lays out why “iPad + Office + Apple + Microsoft” actually makes sense. In it he lists out all the big arguments for such a Microsoft appearance at Apple’s iPad 3 keynote.

This isn’t like when Microsoft had to scratch and think before making Office for the Mac in the ’90s, when it would be lucky to sell a couple million copies per year. The iPad is way different: It should easily pass 50 million unit sales this year alone, and that’s potentially tens of millions of Office buyers for Microsoft. (Office, by the way, represented significantly more of Microsoft’s sales and profits last quarter than Windows.)

I strongly encourage you to read the full list of arguments in his article, I don’t think anyone could have laid out the argument for such a proposition any stronger than Dan did. On the flip side though, Daring Fireball’s John Gruber doesn’t think it’ll happen.

But what would be in it for Apple to offer such a spot to Microsoft? You can argue that the iPad with Office available is an even more attractive platform/device than the iPad as it stands today, sans Office. But why share the spotlight with Microsoft? Apple doesn’t need to.