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Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) has launched its new tablet, Surface, with the hope of beating Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) market-leading iPad, and according to investment expert Nigam Arora, the former may have a fairly solid trump card: Microsoft Office integration.
“… [Microsoft] Office is so ubiquitous in the corporate world that Microsoft’s new Surface tablets may gain traction not because they are better than iPad, but because they run Office,” Arora writes in Forbes. According to Arora, a majority of surveyed corporations have been reluctant to use iPads widely around the workplace because it still does not run Office natively. While there are several competing apps, the issue of synchronization is a big one.
Arora also contends that while this issue will significantly help sales of Surface, Microsoft may actually have much to gain from eventually offering Office on Apple’s mobile devices. “An Office app for iPad and iPhone may generate billions of additional revenues for Microsoft without much additional expense,” he writes. As a larger number of organizations start adopting iPads, the lack of Office on the tablets will make competition to Office stronger.
The debate between making the native availability of Office on its tablet at the cost of potentially additional revenue will be one that Microsoft will have to soon figure out.
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