Microsoft’s Business Division Overtakes Windows as Company’s Primary Cash Cow; Why No Office Metro App?

On yesterday’s Business Insider chart of the day, an interesting trend was pointed out: Microsoft’s Business Division has once again overtaken Windows as the main source of Microsoft’s operating income.

As Business Insider noted in a previous opinion piece, Microsoft should work to cultivate this income source even more by releasing versions of Office on iOS and Android devices. It’s worth noting though that, despite the fair chance of profitability that exists on the aforementioned platforms, it would be unfortunate to see Microsoft launching proper iOS and Android versions of Office without developing a proper Windows 8 Metro suite.

Revisiting Sinofsky’s colossal, roughly 8,600 word post on Windows on ARM (WOA), Office was touched on and even briefly shown off. It was in this post where Microsoft confirmed that, on Windows 8, the next version of Office will remain a legacy app. It will, however, be “significantly architected” for touch. Without delving into the reasons as to why it’s impossible for any application that’s built for the legacy desktop can be optimized for touch, the bigger point here is that a team within Microsoft isn’t even embracing Metro and Windows 8.

There’s no excuse for not creating a proper Metro app. Whatever the reason behind it is, it looks bad. People will speculate that the Office team wanted to hedge their bets with Windows 8 by not investing too much resources in it, and the last thing that something as risky as Windows 8 needs is an absence of faith from what is, as of now, Microsoft’s largest source of operating income.

It was quite accurately described in the original BI post that the relationship between Windows and Office is symbiotic. Office is betraying the relationship here.

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Paul Paliath

Paul Paliath is a designer. You should follow me on Twitter here.