Could Microsoft Office Go Multi-Platform For Mobile?

Windows Phone 7 Office Image via Microsoft.

Traditionally, Microsoft has been a software company, leveraging its office suites and operating systems, but selling applications for any compatible hardware and platform. For smartphones in particular, its strategy has been to supply the software and let other companies worry about developing the phones. So why not go all the way and sell its software for every device on every platform?

That’s what Business Insider’s Dan Frommer proposes the company do: “Microsoft should develop Office apps for the iPad, Android, Chrome OS, BlackBerry tablet, and any other computing platform that is likely to become popular over the next 5-10 years,” adding that “if Microsoft wants to keep people tied into its Office suite, it needs to go where the people are going.”

Office is integrated into the forthcoming Windows Phone 7 OS, but would compete on several fronts in smartphone and tablet platforms, including iWork on Apple’s iPad, Google Docs on the mobile web, and Dataviz’s multi-platform Documents To Go, just acquired by Blackberry maker RIM.

Frommer sees RIM’s purchase of Documents To Go as a defense against the possibility of Microsoft introducing an Office app for Blackberry. Ironically, if RIM stops active development of Documents To Go for other platforms, that could create just the multi-platform opening needed to entice Microsoft to swoop in.

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Could Microsoft Office Go Multi-Platform For Mobile?

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