Microsoft Office now on iPad: Bozo-authored Power Point slides just got a boost

So Microsoft Office is now available on the iPad. Should we care? I believe the more fundamental question to ask is this: Do people really do important stuff on a tablet device?

I have serious doubts. Tablets and other touch-screen devices have long been pitched as toys. Get on Google and search for the “top apps” for the iPad or any tap-and-swipe device out there and all you’ll get are games and “productivity” apps that you’d be hard-pressed to describe as anything more than quaint.


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Personally, I wouldn’t look twice at a presentation or Word document submitted to me for review that I know was cobbled together on an iPad by some self-described “road warrior”. You need look no further than emails. I know for a fact that a person responding to an email from a mobile device “on the go” will likely go from my Inbox straight into the Recycle Bin. I once told a staff of mine to sit down on a proper desk in front of a proper computer and think his response through carefully before he responded to my email query.

Fact is, we already have enough bad MS Office documents clogging our data centers as it is. Wait ’til all these bozos start producing them from their iPads. I already waste enough time fielding instructions to “use a bit more words and less pictures when articulating complex stuff” to our boys and girls — an instruction these kids have been conditioned since birth to regard as counterintuitive to their 140-character minds.

Yeah, the technology keeps getting smarter. But unfortunately that grants license for end-users to get dumber. Leave the iPads to the toddlers. If you want to do real work sit yourself on a desk. Send me a piece of crap done on an iPad and I’ll kick your hipster ass.

[Photo courtesy The American Genius.]

30 Replies to “Microsoft Office now on iPad: Bozo-authored Power Point slides just got a boost”

  1. iPads (and tablets for that matter) are primarily for consumption – to check some one on Facebook, view videos, play games, read documents. Though it’s possible to edit documents, personally I won’t do so because it’s hard for me to edit document on tablet using virtual keyboards. Desktops, or recently, laptops are used to produce something.

    Nonetheless, I won’t discount the possibility of using tablets to produce something. There’s an external keyboard that can communicate with tablets via bluetooth. Moreover, tablets will eventually grow further in processing power and memory capacity that it might be a convinient replacement to laptop.

    1. @OnesimusUnbound:

      IPAD have limited memories…it will never repalce LAPTOPS. However, IPADs will morph into something cheaper, and very sophisticated gadgets. We are looking in the future…please don’t resist changes…beca

      1. I don’t think tablets will *completely* and *instantly* replace laptops, but rather it slowly take away roles that laptops once fullfil.

        1. @OnesimusUnbound:

          The Integrated Circuit Board (mother board) in any computer, is the one that will change radically. It will become thinner and thinner..lighter and lighter… And the manufacturer can manufacture them in large quantities per hour.
          So, this will bring down the cost of computers.

          You have disposable iPhones now…why not disposable computers? More powerful than we have , and more versatile…this is the future…

  2. Kate,

    If a person cannot compose his or her thoughts properly, it doesn’t matter what they use to communicate. Whether it be Mac, PC, iPad, Android tablet or smart phone, if they can’t think coherently, it will still come out as inarticulate drivel. Garbage in, garbage out.

    Personally, I find no difference between platforms. It comes down to how the person manages to be productive.

    Incidentally, I’m writing this comment out on an Android tablet as I do with most of my communications.

    1. J.K. Rowling composed the foundation of some book she was working on using napkins. She could not afford paper. I wonder what happened to that?

    2. As I mentioned to Felipe below, people are different a thrive in different environments. All things being equal, however, a kid on a desk will probably do better work than one fiddling with an iPad.

      1. @Katie (Kate):

        I don’t think so…you are too conservative…please don’t resist changes…changes and progress are good for our civilization…

  3. “The first rule of any technology used in a
    business is that automation applied to an
    efficient operation will magnify the
    efficiency. The second is that automation
    applied to an inefficient operation will
    magnify the inefficiency”
    Bill Gates

    And the third is that technology is just a tool. It can add value and be a differentiator in the right hands, or simply an overhead cost and additional level of complexity in the wrong. Geeks never make IT directors for that reason – amongst others.

    In my mind there have been 6 waves of technology, each one changing organisational structures, business practices, and commercial opportunities, as the winners look beyond the boundaries/costs and constraints of bricks and mortar, past ‘hot-desking’ and insourcing/outsourcing, towards the next step of value chain integration and atomised organisations, and apply creative solutions to traditional problems.

    The lost opportunity is that SME’s have low cost technology at their disposal as a basis for being both competitive and creative but cannot apply it for competitive advantage. New technology is wasted on old thinking.

    Technology waves – correlation between structure and technology.

    Data centre – centralised
    Distributed processing – regional
    Local area networks – distributed
    Virtual private networks – global
    Cloud and mobile – virtual/atomised
    Integrated channels – partnerships

    There is more now far more power in an ipad than it took NASA to put a man on the moon.
    In some companies they might as well just put the monkeys in charge of the ‘space rocket’ – a case of terabytes before trogladytes, but that is down to bad management in the first place.

    1. @Libertas:

      Future technology wii put all our :religions, laws, political structures, social structures, etc…UPSIDE DOWN. Please be reay for these changes. They are mind boggling…”mahirap ang hindi ready…”
      How would you call, if your husband or wife, has an adulterous relation with a Humanoid? Is that adultery? It is a machine, not a person…

  4. My girlfriend earns her living making designs on a graphics tablet, it’s the best medium for that with the touchscreen and stylus pen. She plugs in a USB keyboard when she needs to write paragraphs.

    Don’t dismiss the whole platform as pointless!

  5. I’m thinking of a tablet myself, since my current laptop is heavy. A tablet would have been lighter, but still, the specs are not up to speed. Not processor power, but more of disk space and connectivity. Plus, I’ll have to get an external keyboard. Besides, tablets were actually meant to be entertainment machines similar to an iPod, rather than useful like laptops.

    1. Chino,

      That’s where you and Kate tend to be a bit myopic 😉 The tablet as a computing ecosystem was intended to be an all-around platform. Much like what Bill Gates proclaimed the PC would be — a device that families would use at home for household tasks and relaxation; a device that could connect you to the office; pretty much do ‘everything’ the average person does in their daily life. To-day, our lifestyles have changed. We’re more mobile and the information the average person processes comes in smaller, more ‘bite-sized’ chunks. And it also happens that generation Y expects entertainment to be delivered to them at any time they request it, from anywhere. As long as they have a connection to the network. This is essentially the same concept as Microsoft’s; only Steve Jobs shrunk it and made it mobile. Tablets and smart phones simply reflect our changing culture. Even business is evolving around the tablet and smart phone as a computing platform. Just look around at the number of business establishments that have opted for either an Android tablet or an iPad as their point-of-sale device instead of the traditional cash register or POS machine.

      1. That’s true. I’m not giving up on the tablet yet, but I’ll wait a bit for the specs to increase. Such as storage size to go from 16 to 500 GB. Maybe later on, the appropriate model of tablet will come out.

  6. Inventors and Researchers patent their inventions. Companies buy these patents to manufacture; and sell them to public. What people want to buy…they will manufacture them. If an IPAD/IPHONE make people dumber, and lazy. And, they are bought by the public. They will sell you these gadgets, and run away with your money. It’s your problem , if you buy one…

    Humanoids or Robots are about twenty(20) years away to be sold in commercial scale. They will be smarter, and can work without complains. They will not ask for raises or promotions. Humanoid prostitutes are ten (10) years away for commercial purposes. Humanoid can be male or female, or in-between…Humanoid office workers…”kasambahay” are also in development…

    1. I strongly doubt that we’ll have a turing-test-passing robot within 20 years. I took almost four decades for computers to beat the Chess Grand Master.

      Anyway, I see changes with human computer interaction by both of them complementing each other. In South Korea, a robot teaches preschoolers how to speak English, and behind it is a someone from Philippines remotely controlling it. The robot solves the availability and the human solves the “mind” aspect.

      For a robot “kasambahay”, it’s possible that a robot will be remotely controlled.

      1. @Onesimusunb ound:

        Japan and the U.S. have already working prototypes of these Humanoid Robots. Japan has its “Ashimo Robot”…prototype that can serve humans…or “kasambahay”. The Japanese government is investing a lot of money on their Research and Development. It is because of the fast aging population in Japan.

        They don’t want OFWs in their midst…they are hiring OFWs for the time being. Until these Humanoid Robots will work in perfection…Universities (U.S. and Japanese) are busy with these projects…

  7. It’s not the tool, but what the user does with, or how s/he uses, it. Jejemons and yellow zombies will continue to spout garbage even with the most sophisticated macs at their disposal, but GRP authors will continue to produce thought-provoking and insightful gems even if armed only with a pen and a napkin.

    Tools are ‘amoral’–they are neither good nor evil in themselves. Give a killer a knife, and s/he will use it to inflict ruin, but give the same knife to a decent woodcarver and s/he will create wondrous works of art that lift our spirits.

    Likewise, give Aquino and his cohorts popularity, power and position and they pervert our moral sensibilities as well as simple notions of right and wrong—this, to a degree so grotesque that the masses are unable to clearly tell the difference anymore. Give those same privileges to, say, even an elephant, and it won’t be as destructive as Aquino–plus, it won’t ask for a Porsche or expect a whole nation to look for a date for him–The elephant would be willing to work for peanuts.

    1. Hi Felipe. I agree. I guess the point of this article is that all things being equal (the average staff person in mind specifically), there is a higher probability that better quality work will be delivered if done in an environment, using the right tools, conducive to focused work. Work that is meant to be done with a certain degree of concentration is more likely to suffer in quality if tools not meant for that sort of thing are used in an environment not meant for that kind of work.

      Mobile devices and apps were, by their very nature designed to plug that gap when you’r in between desks. If one already has enough trouble doing good work on a desk, then that person shouldn’t be trying to do the same work while ‘on the go’.

  8. Anywhere, anytime, any platform.

    The combination of mobile and cloud puts information where it is needed when it is needed, increases productivity, enhances customer service, and with app based interfaces provides ease of use. The integration of SAP and MS Office is almost becoming a de facto standard for forward thinking companies – corporate and SME’s.

    The challenge for IT, as always is to understand the technology, exploit the potential, and deliver benefits to the business.

    The desperate need is for highly capable business analysts, systems designers, and technical support, who can drive businesses through creative applications and who understanding complex business processes and their interdependencies.

    Enterprise Architecture demands a raft of skills and knowledge, but there is a dearth of talent, compared to india, s korea, and even vietnam, and i suspect few teachers/trainers of silicon valley standard. GIGO.

    The philippines is in a computing timewarp of the 1980’s. Time to fast forward and not get left behind, again.

    1. No…Philippines is swallowed in a BLACKHOLE of thieving and incompetent politicians, family political dynasties, feudal oligarchy, stupid and servile people, etc…we are in a loop…most don’t want to get out of it..

  9. Managed to edit docs/xls files many years ago using Quickoffice on a Nokia N70. That’s not an official MS app. hahah

  10. The specs of some tablets these days are better than the specs of some of the PCs,laptops and netbooks from 5 to 10 years ago. Now, we have dual core and quad core processor tablets –soon we’ll be having octacore processors. In terms of memory (RAM) tablets have from 512MB to 1GB and I think that there are some smart phones with 2GB. My point is that tablets aren’t solely confined to gaming. They can do much more.

    I agree that it would just be a matter of convenience on how you could get the job done on a tablet with its virtual keyboard. A bluetooth keyboard however could really make things easier.

    Lastly, I agree with Johnny Saint on “If a person cannot compose his or her thoughts properly, it doesn’t matter what they use to communicate.”

    Though I sort of get what you were trying to point out. I think what you were trying to say was that a tablet isn’t the most conducive platform to get serious work done maybe because it is easier to type and edit documents on a desktop or laptop and also because we usually associate tablets to be an entertainment device only.

    1. “My point is that tablets aren’t solely confined to gaming.”

      tablet games are not real VIDEO GAMES.

      Play proper video games on a console, pc or handhelds.

      1. I see where you are coming from because I think you are similar to me. But people who are not like us who think Bejewelled and Candy Crush and Farmville are the peak of gaming have no idea what you are talking about. I did buy GTA III for my Ipad and I have not played it much. I also bought FF Dimensions and I will eventually continue that.

        1. “But people who are not like us who think Bejewelled and Candy Crush and Farmville are the peak of gaming have no idea what you are talking about.” True Gogs, that’s a better way of articulating knight_artorias’s point.

          For me though, I think that it is really a matter of taste. Regardless of what platform you use, the purpose of games is to provide entertainment. If you’re having fun, enjoying and are finding it satisfying then it really shouldn’t matter what game you’re playing and where you are playing it on.

        2. Yes. I knew where he was coming from but different people view gaming differently . I am considering writing something on what it’s like to buy a 360 essentially 8 years after they were first launched. Hint, I have over half a dozen games that are not demos.

  11. Dear Kate,

    Well written article. When I saw the statement:

    “I once told a staff of mine to sit down on a proper desk in front of a proper computer and think his response through carefully before he responded to my email query”

    My eyes lit up. Yes. My mum too can be an “iPhone email commando” and it’s ridiculous. I even asked her to do the same thing with what you told your co-worker.

    As for MS Office for the iPad maybe MS Word for the iPad is a great prospect as it is a staple software for many PC/Mac users. But this is just speaking only for myself.


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