Apple isn’t the only company ready for today’s launch of the iPad Pro, Microsoft is also getting in on the action. Under the direction of CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft has refocused its approach to how it provides its services to customers. Unconstrained by one OS (Windows) Microsoft has shifted its focus from pushing Windows OS as its core ecosystem to saturating the market with their proprietary products and services. This strategy has been seen with Nadella's demonstrations of Office on iOS, as well as the Microsoft Band 2’s cross-platform functionality. A major focus for Microsoft is productivity apps, mainly Microsoft Office, which Nadella wishes to push as Microsoft’s key monopoly.
During Apple’s last press conference, Microsoft’s Products manager, Kirk Koenigsbauer, was invited on stage to demo how Microsoft Office will work on the iPad Pro and iOS 9. During the demo, Koenisbauer demonstrated how the Apple pencil can be used with programs like OneNote and PowerPoint to annotate and create content. With the release of iOS9, Apple also introduced several new features, albeit not new for Windows 8 or 10 users, that can be used with Office. These features include a split screen view as well as a slide over feature to improved multitasking and productivity.
These Office apps are not just available for the iPad Pro, however, but will also function on the iPad Air, iPad mini, and iPhone. To take full use of this productive suite users will need to subscribe to Office 365 which provides a subscription service for up to five PC’s and/or Macs, as well as 5 tablets and 5 phones. This subscription also comes with 1 TB of cloud storage via OneDrive that can be shared among all of your devices.
The addition of Microsoft Office apps, especially ones tailored to take advantage of the real-estate and pen input of the iPad Pro, demonstrates Nadella's focus and strategy. Not only can one use the full suite of apps on Windows devices, but on most iOS devices as well with no compromise. What are your thoughts on Apple's iPad Pro and Microsoft Office? Let us know in the comments below.