In an article I wrote yesterday, I discussed the stinginess of Microsoft to not provide an Office app for iPad users. Of course, there were those who disagree with me and think that Microsoft’s strategy is a successful one. I still stick by my words in that article (titled “Why Microsoft Office for IPad is a Good Idea”) that Microsoft is losing billions of dollars in revenue and profit due to its stubbornness; at the same time, what can a consumer do about it? Not much.
I decided to test a little experiment in my apartment today, which you can find in the video posted below:
In order to get Microsoft Office on your iPad, you will need to purchase two things: (1) Microsoft Office for Mac OS and (2) Windows 8 Metro Testbed from the App Store. I purchased Microsoft Office 2011 two years ago when it first arrived for Mac OS, and I had to purchase it separately from my MacBook Pro. It was priced around about $115-$120, so it is a rather steep purchase. In any case, I enjoy Microsoft Office and use it daily for blogging, research, papers, and so on. The Windows 8 Metro Testbed can be purchased from the App Store for $49.99. I bought it a year ago when the price tag was around $35.00. All you need to do is download the Windows 8 Testbed application on your iPad. Yes, note from before you download that this will not give you Windows 8 OS; rather, the point of downloading this application is to provide access to your desktop. In other words, Windows 8 Testbed will give you access to your Mac OS (and Microsoft Office) from your iPad.
In addition to downloading the Testbed app, you will also need to log into Splashtop Streamer (for your Mac OS) and retain your username and password. Whenever you want to use your iPad to work on papers and so on, you will need to log into Splashtop Streamer on your laptop. Once you log in, you will be required to provide a passcode or security code for your iPad. This is how you must connect your iOS to Mac OS in order for this solution to work.
Next, connect the iPad by using the security code and finding your laptop on the server. The connection will go through, and your Mac OS desktop should now appear on your iPad. I highly recommend that you also have a physical keyboard nearby, so that some gestures on your iPad are touch, while others are on a physical keyboard. Once you do, you can send emails, documents, and type research papers (and use accurate footnotes) by way of the Windows 8 Metro Testbed application.
I realize that this is not ideal for everyone, but if you want to get Microsoft Office on your iPad, this seems to be the most hassle-free way to do it. Forgive me in the video; my MacBook Pro keyboard is in need of serious repair and many of the keys I needed for my password and username were not available. Even if you do not own a username and password for Splashtop Streamer, you can still access the Windows 8 testbed application and use it for writing purposes with your Microsoft Office software on your Mac OS.
Microsoft is still being stingy with its software at the moment. If you want to have the Microsoft experience without purchasing a Microsoft tablet, look no further than your iPad and Mac OS laptop.