There aren’t too many hurdles left to big business adopting Android tablets as productivity tools. They integrate with secure email solutions (Exchange and Good are two examples), they run most of the same apps as iOS tablets do, but there’s always been one hurdle — there’s the perception that they don’t integrate too well with Microsoft Office products.
While there are apps that can read and write to Office documents, they often make a mess of formatting or cannot be read by a desktop PC afterwards which in some instances can be disastrous.
While it’s not an immediate fix, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. In a recent blog post, Microsoft Office 365 development plans include extending the full editing capabilities of the web apps suite to Android tablets in the near future. At present, this is a luxury which is currently only afforded to Windows 8 tablets and iPads when accessing the online productivity suite from the software giant.
The Office Web Apps also serve as a key connection point between Office and the expanding array of devices our customers use. We enable you to access Office content and tools from your device of choice through cross browser support on those devices where Office isn’t installed or available. The full power of the Office Web Apps is already available for Windows 8 tablets and iPads and we will be extending the same capabilities to Android tablets via mobile Chrome browser support.
Taking a leaf out of Google’s own playbook, Microsoft also have plans to integrate real time collaboration on documents and spreadsheets where, like Google Drive, you can see the changes that your co-workers and colleagues are making to the document in real time. The blog post cites this as a great enhancement to enable even richer collaboration, but in the current age of the cloud isn’t this an expected function for web based applications?
So it seems with this issue of integration to the Microsoft Suite of products being slowly resolved, the potential for Android to forge a path into daily producitvity in busienss is great.
Do you think Microsoft Web Apps being available could be a winning stroke for Android in business? Or is there another piece of the puzzle missing? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below