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‘Windows 8’ and ‘Office 2012’ to launch together.Genius or Blunder ?

Windows 8 and office 2012 launch during fall 2012. Both the products will complement each other and will give a stronger reason for tablet buyers to pick Windows 8.

Office 15 or supposedly ‘Microsoft Office 2012’ is the upcoming and much awaited version of Office application suite. Office 2010 was a success in its own terms and the expectations are even bigger from its successor, codenamed Office 15.

Now Microsoft is expected to launch ‘Office 15’ during the latter half of the year and that also means that it will probably be the first time in the long history of Microsoft that both of its main cash cows, Windows OS and Office application suite, will be released during the same time frame.

Generally, Microsoft chooses to keep a sizable gap in between releases of Windows and Office versions for thoughtful reasons. At one side, it wants to keep the revenues flowing so when a new version of Windows or Office suite releases in the market in any particular year, Microsoft gets to focus all its emphasis(marketing push etc) on just one product launch and this keeps the revenues at peak levels, year after year.

Microsoft also knows that its enterprise customers as well as personal userbase may not commit to buying both the latest versions of Windows as well as Office suite, simply because of limited budget. Hence, Microsoft has so far chosen to not put customers into a position where they end up choosing between ‘A’ and ‘B’, instead of buying both.

But this time, Microsoft is looking to drift  away from its strategy from releasing its core products in different years as both  Windows 8 and Office 2012 are going to be launching during fall this year. And rightly so. Microsoft has some solid reasons to defend its strategy of releasing both its ‘key’ products at the same time.

1. Windows 8 is a touch-optimized OS and has been developed from the ground up. That means, no power-hogging native applications would run on WOA(Windows 8 on ARM) devices such as tablets. And therefore, running older Office 2010 on Windows 8 (on ARM as well as x86) may not get down too well with the consumers. And Microsoft loyalists will surely desire a compatible and smoothly running Office application suite for Windows 8 and this will ask for a newer, re-worked Office version.

2. Windows 8 is a completely re-worked OS, embracing the new Tile-based design theme that Microsoft developed for Windows Phone OS earlier. Slowly and gradually, Microsoft has transformed all its product designs and its web properties into tile-based design and therefore, it wouldn’t be a great idea to not have a re-designed and touch-optimized Office app for future Windows 8 buyers.

3. Microsoft has been trying to position its next generation Windows OS as the meeting point of couch computing(via tablets) and Productivity computing (desk based PCs and notebooks). Windows 8 will be much more attractive to the end buyer compared to any other Android tablet or even the current tablet market leader iPad,  if Microsoft is able to convince the buyers that the touch-optimized Windows 8 is the best productivity for touch based devices. And that’s nearly impossible without the unparalleled backing of the next generation, touch optimized Microsoft Office for Windows.

We strongly believe that Microsoft’s “risky” decision of bringing both next generation Windows and Office together, will prove to be a stunner for the Redmond company.

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