Ever since the iPhone ushered in the era of ubiquitous mobile computing — and especially since the release of the first iPad began a shift away from traditional personal computers — the question has been whether and how Microsoft Office would adapt.
Here's the answer: Grudgingly, and not very well. Office Mobile, which slipped into Apple's App Store with little fanfare, turns out to be a stripped-down add-on that will leave both Office and Apple users wondering, "Is that all there is?"
In the first year or so of using an iPad I'd regularly have to field questions from colleagues on when we could expect to get Microsoft Office on iOS. In the last year that question has faded away, replaced by curious enquiries as to my own strategies for dealing with the files I get sent by Office-based co-workers. The questioners have mostly figured out their own approaches, or are confident that it's a problem that's largely solved. No-one tells me they're holding off buying an iPad until MS ships a full Office suite.