Word for iPad

Screenshot by Re/code

Mobile


While one of the big holdups for Office for iPad was getting the software just right, another was Apple’s policy that apps that sell things — including subscriptions — use Apple’s in-app purchase mechanism and hand over 30 percent of that revenue to Apple.

This had been a big sticking point historically, so it was one of the key question marks looming over this launch.

Indeed, Microsoft does offer Office 365 subscriptions within the just-released Word for iPad and the other Office apps and, yes, it is paying the 30 percent cut, Apple confirmed to Re/code. Microsoft declined to comment on the matter.

Apple has taken a hard line with all manner of publishers that want to sell things, even subscriptions that go well beyond the iPad content: If anything is sold in the app, the sellers have to use Apple’s method and hand over 30 percent.

Meanwhile, on Twitter, both CEOs were playing nice-nice.

“Welcome to the iPad and AppStore,” Cook said in a tweet.

Nadella replied in a tweet of his own: “Thanks @tim_cook, excited to bring the magic of @Office to iPad customers.”

That said, Apple used the launch as a chance to tout all the many other productivity apps also on iPad.

“We’re excited that Office is coming to iPad — now part of the more than 500,000 apps designed specifically for iPad. iPad has defined a new category of mobile computing and productivity and transformed the way the world works,” Apple said in a statement. “Office for iPad joins an incredible lineup of productivity apps like iWork, Evernote and Paper by FiftyThree, that users can choose from to inspire them to do more with this powerful device.”




6 comments
tech-52
tech-52

Microsoft is finally getting that they're not top of the food chain anymore. They have to play where the money is. It'll be interesting to see when they play in Android if they make much money at all.

Brad Choate
Brad Choate

It's only fair. If Apple were to sell an app through the Windows App Store (stop laughing!), Microsoft would take a 30% cut of the sale as they impose the same revenue share policy and rate.


Having said that, I'm surprised that the Office iPad apps don't promote the Office 365 subscription through a web page in Safari. That's the usual play to get around the 30% rev share (and, for instance, why you can't purchase Amazon Kindle books directly from the Kindle iOS app). I suppose they ate it for the sake of convenience and user experience.

StevenL.
StevenL.

Of course, Apple would only be getting the 30% cut if someone purchases a subscription through the app. How many folks who want to use Office on their iPads won't have first purchased a subscription for a desktop or laptop?

LA_Banker
LA_Banker

@Brad Choate  If I'm not mistaken, Microsoft still owns a sizable stake in Apple arising from that 1997 lifeline investment that prevented Apple's bankruptcy.


If so, that may be another reason -- in addition to convenience and UX -- that Microsoft was more acquiescent to Apple's terms than, say, Amazon.

weetigo
weetigo

@Brad Choate Slightly different models.  Microsoft charges 30% on the first $25K, then 20% afterwards.

Chris CA
Chris CA

@LA_Banker

"If I'm not mistaken, Microsoft still owns a sizable stake in Apple arising from that 1997"


MS sold all shares of AAPL by 2003.

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