Microsoft Office for iPhone may not supplant third-party vendors

Microsoft dipped its toe into the world of iOS last week with the launch of Office for iPhone, but it’s a tentative dip that doesn’t seem to be scaring off the third-party vendors already filling part of the demand for Office support on Apple’s mobile devices.

Microsoft’s offering is only for the iPhone, not the iPad, and it’s only available to Office 365 subscribers. Those limitations may explain why Brainshark, who make a PowerPoint presentation tool called SlideShark, don’t seem fazed by Microsoft’s move.

While he agrees the Microsoft offering is good news for iPhone users, and reinforces Microsoft’s commitment to PowerPoint, Brainshark CMO Andy Zimmerman writes in a blog that it’s definitely not a replacement for SlideShark.

“With smartphones always within reach, users want their documents to be accessible via mobile too.  Microsoft is addressing this need – at least to some degree – and in doing so, helping to make PowerPoint even more ubiquitous,” said Zimmerman. “The new Office for iPhone, however, is not a viable alternative to SlideShark. That being said, it can certainly be used when you want to make a few quick edits to a PowerPoint, save it to SkyDrive, then pull it into SlideShark to show and share it.”

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras is a technology journalist with IT World Canada and a member of the IT Business team. He began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada and the channel for Computer Dealer News. His writing has also appeared in the Vancouver Sun & the Ottawa Citizen.

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