Tim Cook welcomes Office for iPad...and Apple's 30% cut of in-app purchases

Excel for iPad

Tim Cook publicly welcomed Microsoft Office for iPad via Twitter today, and Apple will be taking a 30% cut of all in-app purchase revenue from the new apps. This is standard practice for the App Store and means that Microsoft will indeed be surrendering a cut of all Office 365 subscriptions it sells that way. So, there's every reason for Apple to be doubly excited. Re/code:

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, they have to use Apple’s method and hand over 30 percent.

It sounds like a fair amount of money – especially given how much a subscription costs – but it's important for the App Store that Apple hasn't shown any favoritism. Smaller developers have to surrender 30% so the big guns shouldn't ever be allowed to avoid that, either.

It's interesting Microsoft opted to go this route, though. Google offers no in-app purchases in its content delivery apps like Google Play Music presumably to avoid handing Apple any of its revenue. Microsoft is taking a hit in the wallet for offering a better purchase experience to iPad customers.

So, it's a double whammy for Apple. The huge arrival of Office for iPad at long last and a cut from any Office 365 subscriptions sold through the apps. What's not to like about that?

Source: Re/code

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Richard Devine

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Reader comments

Tim Cook welcomes Office for iPad...and Apple's 30% cut of in-app purchases


I know that there is a lot of "who needs this" and "too little, too late" opinions on various forums, but make no mistake, the release of Office for iPad will help sell iPads. That Apple gets a 30% cut if anyone that subscribes through the app (granted, likely to be the minority, but not an insignificant amount, and not sure how much of a minority)? Icing on the cake. For enterprise customers, only Office is good enough. Even in my limited experience today, documents that my kids' teachers send that are unreadable in the Mail app preview, and missing things in Pages, looks perfect on the iPad Word.

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What this tells me is Microsoft is basically admitting Surface is a failure. iPad has a huge edge in enterprise and now having Office suite on it cements that position even further. Only thing missing is Outlook.

um, so apple could sell hardware (ipods) and more importantly software and media (apps/music/video/tunes/flicks/books) to windows users. duh.

just as ms is hoping to get more sales (or in this case subscriptions) by enabling office files on ios devices, since they've supported office files on macs for years.

you don't know shit about business obviously since you assume to know everything about it. Eat that logic dipshit

What it tells me is that they know a lot of people are currently using iPads. The Office 365 subscription offers an install on up to 5 PCs/Macs and up to 5 tablets. They likely see it as a way to help people view documents on the go (this happens a LOT in Enterprise) and bolster subscriptions to Office for those that need to create / edit.

They can then say "hey...you already *have* an Office 365 subscription and you like office on the iPad. You should try it on this Surface tablet where you'll have an even more 'professional' experience".

I've been to the Microsoft stores. They are fairly impressive for something showcasing the PC world. It almost made me sad I purchased my MacBook Air instead of a Surface Pro 2. Of course that feeling faded away later that evening when I popped open my MBA.

In business it's almost never a mistake to provide products or services to your customers, regardless of where they are. ;)

Have you tried any of the open source solutions for your computer? I'm sure you could find out that renders the MS Word files correct without buying Office.

"For enterprise customers, only Office is good enough." -- mostly because its all they know how to use.

So if they download 365, they'll give Apple $3 for the first month (assuming they get the $10/month option) or $30 for the first year (assuming they get the $100/year option), then never have to give Apple another dime? Yeah, I'm not too sure Microsoft will miss that small amount compared to the (supposedly) thousands of people who will download Office and (hopefully) keep the subscription for years.

Assuming they renew the subscription via the iPad, then Apple would take another 30% I'm pretty sure.

You don't seem to understand. They get nothing otherwise.

The way I see it for many though is to go through iTunes. You can get discounted iTunes gift cards offered various times of the year.

I believe if it's a monthly subscription, apple gets 30% per month, so if it's $6 per month apple takes $1.80 a month.

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I'm still trying to understand who would use Excel on a tablet. I use it every day at work and there is no way I'd ever think of using it on an iPad.

Same, when I'm using Excel I have many work books open at one time spread across two 24" screens. I don't see why I would ever give that up for a mobile. Maybe to view a document from time to time but that's it.

Yeah, I'd have to agree with you. I downloaded the Office programs on my iPad mini, but will only keep them to view documents in full compatibility. I can't imagine trying to edit "professional" spreadsheets on my iPad.

That being said, I love, love Numbers for personal use. I keep spreadsheets for my budget, blood pressure, and game stats. Plus, I kind of like having that data separated from my work stuff on OneDrive, so that is a bonus of having both productivity suites.

I develop electronic forms with Excel 2007 and VBA. Tablet access would be welcome, although native iOS apps would be best.

using Apple's Numbers software (versus Excel) is like using an abacus instead of a calculator. It is the Disney version of a spreadsheet application. If you don't realize that, then you must do pretty simple stuff in spread sheets.

All stores make profit off selling items in there store , best buy, Office Depot , why the big deal there selling it on App Store , can't you also buy it at the apple store? Doesn't apple make some money from it there?

Wow I thought Microsoft had removed all in-app purchases and you were required to sign up for your subscription before using the app. Very interesting.

I think it was a great idea until they want me to pay for some membership. No thanks! Delete......

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What you don't understand is, most of Microsoft revenue comes from Office subscriptions and purchases. If they offered the full suite for free, they'd be screwed - especially with rumours circulating that they are going to make free versions of Windows with Windows 9. Support the people who make software you like using - don't just expect them to be able to give you everything for free - they do have costs too you know.