Microsoft talks about how they brought the ‘gold standard’ of productivity to the iPad

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Microsoft talks about how they brought the 'gold standard' of productivity to the iPad

Not too long ago, Microsoft unveiled and released Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote for iPad – ultimately offering the company’s Office productivity suite to Apple’s tablet device. In a new blog post, Microsoft mentions that over 27 million downloads of Office for iPad have taken place since its release and the company also goes over the art of designing the suite for the iPad.

“From its inception, the Office for iPad project has been a blend of imagination and passion. When we had our first tantalizing glimpse of the iPad, we were intrigued by the huge opportunity ahead: enabling Office customers – over 1 billion around the globe – to rediscover the power of mobile productivity in new and exciting ways,” Microsoft stated in an official blog post.

Microsoft focused its efforts in designing Office for iPad, rather than porting Office to the iPad. Microsoft wanted to offer the right set of features appropriate for the device. These were the key goals in designing Office for iPad:

  • Familiar Office experience, with no learning curve
  • Unmistakably Office, optimized for iPad
  • Immersive and removes distractions
  • Document content, not UI, takes center stage
  • Experience is always beautiful, fast, and fluid

Microsoft wanted a familiar yet unique look to Office for iPad, offering a familiar yet beautiful interface. This was no tough task for the team, which happens to have some Apple platform specialists on board. “Fortunately, since the Office for iPad and Mac team (formally known as the Macintosh Business Unit) is made up of Apple platform specialists, we were able to apply our deep knowledge of Apple platforms to the task,” Microsoft explained.

Microsoft wanted the next-generation Ribbon interface for iPad to offer the familiarity of the desktop, but be touch optimized. Microsoft also added Quick Access commands to the left and right of the Ribbon, so users can access the most commonly used global commands without having to switch to a specific tab.

“In addition to optimizing Office for iPad for touch, we also wanted the visual display to be refreshingly modern and beautiful. The Microsoft Modern Language and Apple’s iOS 7 design language share a common philosophy: a fierce reduction of complexity. This applies to the information architecture, but also to the visual language as well. With iOS 7’s more flexible theming capabilities, we were able to deliver the Unmistakably Microsoft, Optimized for iOS 7 experience we had intended,” Microsoft added.

Microsoft believes if attention to detail is emphasized, customers will indeed notice. Microsoft believes Office for iPad offers the crispest text and graphics on any version of Office yet, offering minimum shading or drop shadows.

Head over to the VIA link below to read the full blog post.

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