Office 365 everywhere? Not on these devices


Microsoft seems to want Office 365 to be its new Windows, the universal personal computing platform. Windows sales have declined for years now, as users switched a lot their computing to mobile devices and, to a lesser extent, Macs. Positioning Office 365 as the common platform across the new reality of a multidevice world makes sense.

But Microsoft’s execution on—and commitment to—that vision is highly uneven. Some parts of the company clearly believe in that cross-platform vision. Some parts see mobile devices as junior adjuncts to computers. Some parts see mobile as near-equal partners, given Microsoft’s failure to have its own successful mobile platform, but they can’t get behind Mac support because that platform directly competes with Windows.

How that tentative internal state translates is Microsoft execs and spokespeople using empty phrases like, “We’re always listening to customer feedback and have heard this,” and “It’s on our road map, but we can’t go into any more detail.” In other words: Dream on.

The result is that any multiplatform user—and many, if not most, enterprises—can’t actually adopt Office 365 as that universal computing platform system, only some pieces.