Mike Tedesco, a Product Manager at Microsoft has stated that they are maybe, sort of, kind of looking at this new-fangled iPad-thingy, and working out whether they can possibly bring macro-viruses to the platform.
I’m being a bit unfair there, but I think it’s significant that Microsoft have even mentioned the words iPad & Microsoft Office in the same sentence.
There’s lots of variables to consider though:
- How will they boil down the morass of overlapping and bloated features that Office is renowned for, to the elegant simplicity of the iPad.
- They would have to totally rethink the input metaphor – are they willing to do this?
- They do realise that there is no stylus?
- Would they sell it for the same price as iWork to compete?
- Are they happy to spend countless millions on developing the applications, under the water-tight and admittedly restrictive development environment that Apple insists on?
- Are they happy to do all that, and face the possibility of Apple rejecting the app?
That last option brings to mind another aspect of the iPad’s development process, which haas been inherited from the iPhone’s.
The iPad’s potential applications are inherently more complex than the iPhone’s. This device is capable of some serious content creation and I guarantee that we will see not only office-like applications, but applications that go someway to compete with Adobe’s offerings.
With that in mind, Apple must work differently with developers working on apps like this. Who in their right mind is going to develop the complex, and seriously meaty applications that this device can easily handle, when there is the possibility of Apple rejecting your app, an app that could have taken months to develop.
I’m not sure what Apple will do, but something like an early-concept approval system is sorely needed. Some would argue it’s sorely needed now, on the iPhone.