Microsoft’s enterprise mobility strategy: too little too late?

Microsoft officially announced Thursday what most have anticipated for some time, Office 365 for iOS, and an enterprise mobility management suite tying many of the company’s existing elements – Active Directory, Intune, etc. – together. But while finally surrendering old world Microsoft thinking is certainly something to commend, in addition to a notable update on the back-end, it’s worth asking whether Microsoft can regain lost ground in the mobile enterprise.

On Thursday Microsoft took the wraps off Office 365 for iOS, which the company will be offering on a freemium basis – users can view Office files in the application on the free version, but to create any documents users need to already be paid subscribers.

It’s worth pointing out that iOS users can already view word documents natively on their devices, so unless Microsoft is planning to discontinue licensing its technology to Apple it’s a bit unclear whether this truly constitutes freemium in the commonly understood or practiced sense.

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That said, it’s more than likely the news will appeal more to enterprises that are already invested in Microsoft’s productivity ecosystem and deploying iPads as part of their overall mobility strategy.

Thursday’s press conference was as much about long awaited service updates as it was about Satya Nadella vocally breaking with the past (a new Office for Mac is said to be in the works, too) and setting the stage for Microsoft’s future. And Nadella clearly understands that mobile – not just mobility, but devices (Nokia, Surface) – and cloud are core to that future.

“The world that we know in five or ten years won’t be defined by the form factors we know today. The software we use will birth many form factors that will become common place,” he said. “Mobile and cloud are one and the same. A cloud that is not connected to devices is just latent potential.”

“A cloud for everyone on every device,” is Microsoft’s strategy moving forward, he said.


Read the full story at Business Cloud News


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