The Macalope Daily: On or Office?

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Remember when Apple had to make concessions to Microsoft to get it to keep making Office for Apple’s platform?

Ha-ha! Good times, right?

Well, not actually good, per se. More like lousy. Still, they were times.

Things are a little different now.

On Tuesday, The Daily reported that Microsoft would be bringing Office to the iPad (Tip o’ the antlers to The Loop). Then, also on Tuesday but maybe 15 minutes later, Microsoft refuted the claim, saying it was “based on inaccurate rumors and speculation. We have no further comment.” END COMMUNICATION.

But the story isn’t over. Because, according to Mary Jo Foley, The Daily is sticking to its guns, insisting that someone at Microsoft actually demoed the pictured software to them, even though a Microsoft spokesperson says the picture is not of a real product.

Wait, Microsoft is saying a piece of Microsoft vaporware is actually vaporware? Isn’t that crossing the streams? You might want to check the integrity of the fabric of reality near you.

Hmph. Well, from where the Macalope’s sitting, releasing Office for the iPad is a pretty dicey proposition for Microsoft. One the one hand, the company would sell a ludicrously large number of copies (albeit with Apple getting 30 percent) and, let’s face it, at least it would put Microsoft somewhere on the map of Tabletlandia. On the other hand, it undercuts the message that businesses need tablets running Windows 8 to get real work done.

The problem for Microsoft is everyone has long since realized you don’t need to run its software to get work done.

Microsoft’s biggest miss is not the lack of a smartphone, or tablet, or Office apps for iOS and Android.

Like the curtain finally falling from the Wizard of Oz to find just a small, frail, man pretending to be far more powerful and relevant than he really was. Microsoft’s biggest miss was allowing the world to finally see the truth behind the big lie—they were not needed to get real work done.

Well, any Mac user could have told you that. But who listens to those guys?

ZDNet’s Larry Dignan thinks releasing Office for the iPad would be a good idea. While that dovetails with MG Siegler’s beliefs about the new relationship between Microsoft and Apple, and the Macalope’s own contention that Redmond sees Android as a bigger competitor than iOS, the Macalope’s not sure the sweaty software maker is ready to be so enlightened.

Notice, however, that no one is talking about the possibility that Apple may have paid Microsoft to create Office for the iPad. It’s obvious, of course, but sometimes it’s important to remark on how times have changed. Fun, too.

[Editors’ Note: In addition to being a mythical beast, the Macalope is not an employee of Macworld. As a result, the Macalope is always free to criticize any media organization. Even ours.]

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