On August 12, 2009, Microsoft issued a press release saying that they’ll be “bringing Microsoft Office Mobile and Microsoft business communications, collaboration and device management software to Nokia’s Symbian devices.” Here we are, 28 months later, and it’s finally happened. If you own a Symbian Belle device then you should check for software updates. There’s a 50 MB file available that contains a native Symbian version of Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. According to the folks at All About Symbian, said software takes a whopping 15 minutes to install. It should be noted that installing Microsoft’s software doesn’t uninstall QuickOffice, which Nokia has been bundling on their smartphones since the beginning of time. The question we want to pose: Is this announcement too little too late?
Nokia has already said that they’re going to dump Symbian, bet the farm on Windows Phone, and they even showed off their first feature phone (Asha 302) with built-in Microsoft Exchange support. So Symbian devices can now create and edit Word files … who cares? The Lumia 610, Nokia’s cheapest Windows Phone, is going to hit the market soon. It’s set to cost less than 200 EUR. If you need tight integration with Microsoft’s Office Suite, then do yourself a favor and just buy that thing. If you’re living in a country that’s classified as an “emerging economy”, then you shouldn’t even be using Microsoft Office. There are plenty of free solutions that work both online (Google Docs) and offline (LibreOffice).
The real big question on everyone’s mind is when will Microsoft bring Word, Excel, and PowerPoint to iOS? That’s the smartphone platform that matters. And make no mistake, Microsoft is a software company. They shouldn’t have any problems collecting $10 per app per iOS user since that’s the business model that propelled them to their current position.
Call us when that day comes, because today’s news doesn’t matter.