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Microsoft Office software on the iPad?!!!!

January 13th, 2012 3 Comments

When something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

Right now I’m struggling with the decision to get a new MacBook Air or just buy an iPad (mine was stolen last year!).  Honestly the major deterrent for me is simply wanting to wait until the latest versions of each come out this year.  But when they both do, I’ll still be left with the decision to get one or the other.*

There are really only two reasons I need a real computer these days: documents and videos.  Everything esle – cloud storage, photos, internet, wordpress – works fine on the iPad (I would never say flawlessly when talking about technology).

Yesterday The Wall Street Journal published Walt Mossberg’s review and video testimonial for OneLive’s cloud-based Microsoft Office for the iPad.  I actually sneaked out loud when I saw the headline.  He states,

“OnLive Desktop is a cloud-based app. That means it doesn’t actually install Office on your iPad. It acts as a gateway to a remote server where Windows 7, and the three Office apps, are actually running. You create an account, sign in, and Windows pops up on your iPad, with icons allowing you to launch Word, Excel or PowerPoint….In my tests, the Office apps launched and worked smoothly and quickly, without any noticeable lag, despite the fact that they were operating remotely.”

But as we would expect, he reports it’s not perfect.

  • You can’t access/Use them without an internet connection (so they don’t work on a plane)
  • The virtual keyboard is frustrating to use for long documents.
  • They don’t guarantee the service will always be available for you.
  • To access the files you’ve created, you need a computer.
  • The programs can’t be used to open documents sent to you via email.

He concludes:

“Overall, I found OnLive Desktop to be a notable technical achievement, but it has so many caveats that it’s best for folks who absolutely, positively need to use the full, genuine versions of the three big Office productivity programs on their iPads. For everyone else, the locally installed Office clones are probably good enough, and simpler to use.”

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  • sandeep sharma

    Sounds pointless to invest in Onlive desktop if it requires internet connection. You might as well use Google Docs. For starters its free. I love google docs. I manage all my business spreadsheets, with complex Excel formulas on it. In fact I created a folder structure just like my “C:/My Documents” folder structure on my laptop. and store everything in folder in gmai, safely behind my encrypted password.

  • sandeep sharma

    Im in same predicament.
    But I need a windows laptop to develop on for work, so do i just keep that, or & get a tablet. Id say scratch the MAC Book Air, go with Tablet and get some MicroSd drives for video, docs backup.
    The micro drive is the size of ur nail and come in 64GB $180 or 32GB $40. Plugs into an open USB port. In another 6months 128GB will be on the market.

    The Asus Transformer Prime 2 Tablet comes with a dockable keypad if u decide u had enough of MAC :) …

    • http://morethanmary.com Mary Rambin

      Sandy you’re in a totally different boat because of your job.

      Also, there is no other “tablet” aside from the iPad. You need only get in earshot (or read blogs) during CES to know that. All of the big companies have given up trying to compete. The Galaxy is the last man standing.

      Although I believe it qualifies as mobile device while tablets have more functionality. A pad doesn’t have a USB port…yet. Fingers crosses for version 3.