Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) may finally be feeling a little heat on its dominant enterprise empire thanks to the work of Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) in developing its enterprise services for mobile and rolling them out for other mobile platforms besides the BlackBerry OS. There has been a push for Microsoft to develop its own software and have it available for mobile platforms to go along with the work it has done to incorporate much of its enterprise software not only on Windows PCs but also on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) devices that run the OS X platform.
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is finally ready to admit that the iPhone is a very popular device among many enterprise workers, and in this BYOD IT culture nowadays, the interest in getting work done on the go with the mobile device that is already in hand – and at least Microsoft is beginning to admit that at least so far, Windows Phone has not been the device choice in the BYOD world. So, it’s time to bring the workplace software to the BYODers in the Apple ecosystem. Partially.
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), after several months of cajoling – maybe we won’t call it downright pleading or begging, because that just sounds pathetic – has finally admitted the BYOD realities of enterprise IT and announced this week that it is rolling out Office 365 as an app for the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone, and it will be free – with a catch. Well, a couple of catches. First, the app applies only to the iPhone, not iPad, so those who are mobile and need to work on the go will severely downgrade from a 13- or 15-inch PC monitor down to a 4-inch iPhone screen to get things done.
But then there is the second catch – the “free” app only applies to certain people. The official name of the app is “Office Mobile for Office 365 Subscribers” – yep, the app is free to those who are already subscribers to Office 365 (subscriptions range from about $50 up to $450 per year), but those who are subscribers can post this app and use it on as many as five iPhones or other devices. Apple, however, does warn that some functionality will be lost if the subscriber does not have Office for PC, especially “recent documents.” Yeah, that could be important.
Will this work only on the iPhone 5?