Apple Promotes Microsoft Office 365 as iPad Pro 'Accessory'

Thursday March 24, 2016 3:46 AM PDT by Tim Hardwick

365Following the unveiling of the 9.7-inch iPad Pro at Apple's media event on Monday, Apple CEO Tim Cook described the device as the "ultimate PC replacement". As if to underline that belief, the company has included a subscription option for Microsoft Office 365 in the iPad Pro ordering process on its website.

It's unclear exactly when Apple added the Microsoft productivity suite to the online checkout process – it also appears when customers order the iPad Air 2, iPad mini 2, or iPad mini 4 – however the inclusion has raised a few eyebrows, not least because Apple usually positions its iWork suite as a better alternative to Microsoft's Office apps.

More significantly perhaps, Microsoft already offers all of its mobile Office apps to Apple customers on the App Store for free (with the exception of 12.9-inch iPad Pro users, oddly enough, since the larger tablet exceeds Microsoft's official definition of a mobile device). By contrast, an Office 365 subscription gives users Mac and iPad access to Microsoft's full suite of productivity apps, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and more.

The move suggests Apple is heavily relying on the potential for Windows PC users to see the smaller iPad Pro as not only a Microsoft Surface beater, but also a complete desktop PC replacement that will draw them into the Apple ecosystem. Indeed, a look back at Monday's event highlights just how much effort Apple is now putting into encouraging Windows desktop users to switch to iPad.

iPad Pro PC replacement media event
"There's a second group of people that we'd love to reach with this iPad Pro: Windows users," Apple's senior VP Phil Schiller said during Monday's event. "You may not know this, but the majority of people who come to an iPad Pro are coming from a Windows PC."

Windows PCs were originally conceived of before there was an internet, before there was social media, before there was app stores, and this is an amazing statistic: There are over 600 million PCs in use today that are over five years old. This is really sad. It really is. These people could really benefit from an iPad Pro.

When they see the features and performance and capabilities of a product like the iPad Pro, designed for the modern digital lifestyle, many of them will find it is the ultimate PC replacement.

Apple remains the largest vendor in a declining tablet market, shipping 16.1 million iPads in the fourth calendar quarter of 2015. While the iPad continues to be the best-selling tablet, its worldwide market share remains only 24.5 percent despite the larger iPad Pro launching in early November. Despite that, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro outsold Microsoft Surface tablets in its debut quarter.

iPad sales have declined for eight consecutive quarters year-over-year due to, among other reasons, longer tablet refresh cycles compared to smartphones. Apple's efforts to convince Windows PC users that an iPad Pro is a complete PC replacement appears to be the company's latest big push in its larger efforts to reverse this trend.

A one-year, single-license Office 365 subscription on Apple's website costs $69.95. A five-license subscription costs $99.95 and a four-year, two-license University download comes in at $79.95.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
53 months ago

After Apple insulted those 5 year old PC users as "sad" and the fact that lack of ports and finder file structure I would be surprised if they win a lot of PC users over.

Funny thing is I'm using a 4 year old MBP because Apple has failed to push out a newer laptop with up-to-date ports to make the jump worth the cost. Forget about 5 year old PCs -- Apple's current laptop lineup isn't functionally better than the ones it was selling in 2012. How's that for a sad fact.

If Apple is looking for a market it might try making its computers relevant again rather than stuffing extra speakers in a .27" tablet case and pronouncing it equivalent to a full fledged PC. Does anyone really believe that?
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
53 months ago
I find it somewhat ironic that they touted green initiatives and their long-lasting products, but then made fun of the fact that people are re-using or continuing to use their device for a long time.

Edit: I would also argue that those are tough words for a company that hasn't visually updated their pro line of laptops in 4 years.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
53 months ago
iPad as a PC replacement is utterly nonsense.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
53 months ago
Because there is only rivalry between these companies in the eyes of the fanboys. It's a smart business decision to work with other companies.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
53 months ago
MS Office has 20% of the features of the main Windows/Mac version. No mouse support. No monitor support. No way to have more than 2 windows open on the same screen at once. No file system.

I'm impressed people can seriously replace their laptop with an iPad Pro. Their needs must be pretty simple.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
53 months ago
After Apple insulted those 5 year old PC users as "sad" and the fact that lack of ports and finder file structure I would be surprised if they win a lot of PC users over.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Leaker Claims New 13-inch MacBook Pro Coming as Soon as Next Month

Monday April 6, 2020 2:56 am PDT by Tim Hardwick
Apple will announce a new 13-inch MacBook Pro in May with the codename J223, according to a rumor shared by YouTuber and leaker Jon Prosser. Note: it’s a refresh to the current 13” So the bigger 14” display upgrade is a big possibility— Jon Prosser (@jon_prosser) April 4, 2020 Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has said Apple plans to release new MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models with scissor keyboards ...

iOS 14 Could Offer Home Screen Widgets, Wallpaper Customizations

Saturday April 4, 2020 3:30 pm PDT by Frank McShan
iOS 14 could offer home screen widgets and wallpaper customizations for the first time, according to 9to5Mac and Twitter user DongleBookPro. Apple is reportedly working to implement widgets that can be moved freely around like icons on the iPhone and iPad homescreen for the very first time. The feature is reportedly codenamed "Avocado" and no other details are available. It was also...

Top Stories: Apple Leaks iPhone SE and AirTags, Apple Buys Dark Sky, and More

Saturday April 4, 2020 6:00 am PDT by MacRumors Staff
With the calendar rolling over to April this week, we yet again saw several leaks and rumors, most notably including Apple itself leaking some references to a pair of long-rumored products: a new budget iPhone SE and AirTags item trackers. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Apple also acquired popular weather app Dark Sky, while Amazon's Prime Video app now allows...

Apple Music Was Second Biggest Global Music Streaming Service in 2019

Friday April 3, 2020 5:38 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Global online music streaming subscriptions were up 32 percent year-over-year in 2019, hitting 358 million subscribers, according to new estimates shared today by Counterpoint Research. Spotify was the market leader with a 31 percent share of total revenue and a 35 percent share of total paid subscriptions, while Apple Music earned the second place slot with a 24 percent share of total...

More References to Apple's Upcoming Low-Cost iPhone Appear Online

Monday April 6, 2020 4:38 am PDT by Tim Hardwick
Further references to Apple's upcoming low-cost iPhone have appeared online, one on a Chinese e-commerce website and another on Verizon's smartphone trade-in page. Spotted by tech blog MySmartPrice, Chinese retailer JD.com has published a placeholder for Apple's so-called "iPhone 9" that includes a teaser image of a veiled smartphone, but other than that it lacks any particularly revealing...

The New York Times, IFTTT, Medium, and Other Apps Adopt Sign in With Apple Ahead of June 30 Deadline

Sunday April 5, 2020 7:08 pm PDT by Frank McShan
Apps with sign-in functionality, including The New York Times, IFTTT, Medium, and more, have continued to adopt Apple's secure Sign in with Apple feature ahead of a deadline of June 30. The deadline for these apps to support the feature was recently extended from April 30. Sign in with Apple, first introduced in iOS 13, allows users to create accounts for apps and websites using an Apple ID. ...

Apple Offers Employees Deep Discounts on HomePod, Beats Headphones and More

Friday April 3, 2020 11:14 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple is offering employees significant discounts on products that include the HomePod and Beats headphones, according to details on the deals shared by MacGeneration and 9to5Mac. Apple is said to be clearing stock of Beats headphones and HomePods, providing them to employees through an internal deals program. The HomePod is available at a 50 percent discount, dropping the price to $149.50,...

New Low-Cost 'iPhone SE' Could Launch as Soon as Tomorrow

Thursday April 2, 2020 4:06 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple's new low-cost iPhone is set to launch as early as Friday, April 3, according to a new report from 9to5Mac that cites a tip from a "highly trusted reader." The site says that while it can't be certain about the launch date, "Apple could reveal and begin taking orders for the new iPhone as soon as tomorrow." The iPhone 8 Apple is said to be planning to call the new iPhone, which is...

EPIX Available for Free Through Apple TV Channels Until May 2, No Subscription Required

Saturday April 4, 2020 9:28 am PDT by Frank McShan
EPIX is currently offering free access to its catalog of movies and TV shows through the Apple TV Channels feature in the TV app, and many additional services are also offering extended free trials. Upon navigating to the Apple TV app, users will notice that EPIX is listed under the "My Channels" section. Rather than offering an extended trial where users must first sign up, EPIX is...

iPad Launched 10 Years Ago Today, App Developer Reflects on Getting Access to a Top-Secret Prototype

Friday April 3, 2020 10:53 am PDT by Joe Rossignol
On the 10th anniversary of the iPad launching in stores, Agile Partners co-founder Jack Ivers has shared an interesting story about how his company managed to get in Apple's good graces and ultimately gain access to prototype iPads. The story begins in 2008, when Agile Partners released GuitarToolkit as one of the first iPhone apps on the App Store. The app used the iPhone's microphone to...