It’s important to recognize that Microsoft did a pretty good job in designing Office for iPad. It’s certainly better than what they did for the Surface. Having said that, I don’t find that I’m very excited by Office on the iPad.
Two of the biggest reasons people are excited about a product is that it solves a problem or that it’s entertaining. Office (and iWork for that matter) is a productivity suite, so it’s not very entertaining by its very nature. I’d argue that at this point, Office doesn’t really solve a problem either.
Microsoft is about four years late in solving a problem for users. The suite of apps should have been released near the introduction of the original iPad in order for it to have a full impact. Unfortunately, the delay gave—or forced—users to find an alternative. And they did—iWork.
The challenge for Apple, if it wants to attract more large business users, is to make iWork more robust.
Honestly, I think the company can do that fairly easily if it puts the engineering teams to work on it, but I don’t think it’s a big priority for them.
The challenge for Microsoft is to make Office for iPad accessible to more users. That would mean cutting out the $99 subscription price, or at least making it more attractive. I can’t see Microsoft doing that.
I have no plans to buy a subscription to use Office for iPad, simply because I don’t have to. iWork suits my needs perfectly and I’ve been running my business successfully for years using the apps. I have no reason to change.
Solve a problem or be entertaining. Office for iPad does neither for me.
I have to use Word for one purpose, and that is that chapters I submit to my publisher need to be formatted in Word template before submission, otherwise, I’d be happy with just iWork or even Google Drive.
I played with Word as well, I even have an Office 365 subscription thanks to my bizspark.com account, but I like Pages and Google Drive, so the usefulness of Office is kind of questionable right now.