Office 2013 could be what Windows 8 tablets need to rival iPad

When Microsoft unveiled the Surface line of tablets a few weeks ago, I almost instantly saw Marin’s projections that Windows 8 will be the only viable iPad competitor coming to fruition. Surface has all the latest hardware found in the current crop of tablets, and adds a fully powered desktop operating system.

Today, we saw one of the key ways Microsoft’s Windows 8 tablet can differentiate itself from the competition. Windows 8 tablets will run a relatively fully featured operating system, complete with the applications and programs we’ve come to use every day. At a keynote this afternoon, Microsoft unveiled the next generation of Office, Office 13 (check Engadget’s full preview here), which could finally be the tool needed to move tablets from accessories to full-fledged computer replacements.

Most people cite productivity as the main reason they can’t fully see a tablet replace their computers. When it comes to my day job, I simply need Excel or Access to get work done; third-party applications or even Apple’s fairly impressive productivity suite simply don’t cut it. Office 13 will bring the power of desktop applications to a portable tablet, which when paired with the keyboard attachments Microsoft unveiled a few weeks back make a Windows 8 tablet the ultimate productivity machine.

The second reason for tablets not quite being ready for prime time is specific to the iPad, namely the lack of a true file management system. As a businessperson, I need access to files categorized in file folders on my computer to manage much of the work I do, and the iPad simply doesn’t do it well. Android tablets have some third-party options, though none hold the muster of a Windows product. And, since most enterprises use Windows and Office, most Windows 8 tablet customers should feel right at home with the software; it even has the ribbon we all hated but have since gotten used to.

Sure, my attitude and outlook may change once I’m able to get my hands on Office 2013 (or, Office 15, or whatever they want to call it), and Office 2013 may in fact make its way to the iPad and Android tablets as has been rumored for several months now, but a fully featured office product with an equally powerful operating system could be the combination Microsoft needs to make a significant dent on the tablet market and provide a true rival to Apple’s iPad.

  • Guest89

    this is why intomobile is falling off. how can you say there is no true upcoming ipad rival when the google nexus 7 just sold out all production supply…

  • Gregory C Newman

    Hopefully Microsoft Windows “8” Intel/Amd x86 CPU tablets will run smoothly and have good battery life to finally give Windows PC fans Like me and the Business Enterprise the Tablet computer we have been looking for. We have not been looking for an “IPAD” killer. We have been looking for A DAMN GOOD Windows tablet that will run our Windows Desktop/Laptop Server and windows specialty  programs. If Windows “8” OS can do that it will be a Winner in the market place but will probably not be an IPAD killer. I think it is stupid for an OEM to try to make an IPAD killer what an OEM has to do is make a tablet computer that works well  People will notice it and buy it. Crap never sells Good stuff does. the Microsoft “Surface Pro”   looks like a “Winner ” to me. what I am concerned about is that Microsoft gets a competent OEM or OEM’s to build it right! Like I said “Crap never sells good stuff does” I hope Microsoft makes damn sure the “Surface” Tablet computers that carry their name and they sell are well built. one thing about Apple “Ipads” is that they are built well.  I hope Microsoft “Surface” tablet computers are well built.

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