Office Application History: Part III

    In the second part of the History of Office Applications, we described how Google Docs at first seemed like a curious technological experiment, but gradually turned into a major player. This is not the only case when office products changed something that did not attract attention at first. What else was there? The answer is under the cut in the third and final part of our text.

    Mobile revolution

    Another time bomb under the office software market was laid on January 7, 2007, when Steve Jobs introduced the very first iPhone model .

    True, at that moment it was difficult to notice it - it seemed that the opposite was true. Previous attempts to make a “smart phone” focused on work tasks (for example, the Nokia 9500 Communicator was immediately pre-installed an office suite), and in the new device they resolutely abandoned it, abandoning the physical keyboard. During the presentation, Jobs positioned the iPhone as a hybrid of the iPod, the phone and the “Internet Communicator” - there was no talk of working with tables. It was impossible to install third-party applications, so it was not necessary to rely on other developers either. In general, it was difficult to imagine that this “touch screen dialer” could change something in the work of people with documents.

    The consequences were all the more impressive. As we now know, the new device format has conquered the world. Android,following the example of an iPhone, abandoning the buttons, fell into the hands of more than a billion users. The ban on installing third-party applications on the iPhone lasted only a year - and now mobile applications are more important for many people than computer programs. And with office services, everything also changed for two reasons.
    First, after smartphones paved the way for the formula “screen in the entire front panel,” tablets successfully picked it up. And they allow you to see the table and connect the keyboard, so in their case, the meaningfulness of using office software increases dramatically.

    And secondly, the explosion of the popularity of smartphones inevitably meant that they would be used for office tasks. Of course, no one would like to spend a whole working day on such a device, but situations like “an employee on a business trip urgently need to see the document, and only a smartphone at hand” began to arise more often and could not remain unanswered.

    As a result, the situation with mobile office software has smoothly passed from “no one needs it” through “there isn’t much point in the mobile version of the package, but still it’s a little better” to “if the package wants to be competitive, a mobile version is necessary.”

    Perhaps the most obvious of these changes is the recent news.: Apple began offering Microsoft Office as an accessory when ordering iPad Pro. Apple, which has its own iWork package. Apple, which, when presenting the first iPhone and iPad, rested absolutely not on productivity. Apple, which eschewed the connection to the keyboard pads, while competitors rested on this opportunity. In 2016, even this company, which is not famous for its friendship with other giants, admitted: yes, office software on a mobile device can be so important that you can offer a competitor package to customers instead of your own, if only they bought an iPad, not Microsoft Surface.

    Clouds, whitemane horses

    The mobile revolution has led employees to increasingly want to use their own devices for accessing work materials. Opinions about how good it is for the workflow disagree (many do not like the increased risk of data leakage), but the wave turned out to be so large that it could not be stopped: even if employees didn’t increase their productivity dramatically, they would be noticeable more satisfied with the employer. As a result, the trend of BYOD , “bring your own device”, has arisen .

    Inside Intel, this trend is counted from 2009, but it really turned around a couple of years later. In 2012, a study was publishedshowing a curious fact: in fast-growing markets, like Russian BYOD, it is noticeably more popular than in the West, since for such markets it is generally more typical to mix work and personal.

    All this had an important consequence. If before, the employee often did all the work on a single work computer, the question of synchronization of different devices was of little concern to him (if it was necessary to finish something at home, it was enough to drop the file on the flash drive). But when an employee has a smartphone with a tablet, and the mobile Internet allows you to work from anywhere, the flash drive is no longer necessary, and the question comes upright.

    As a result, the demand for clouds, which already existed, increased even more. This played into the hands of Google, which initially made a bet on it, but more traditional players did not want to lag behind: Microsoft with Apple acquired both the ability to store documents in the cloud and web versions of their packages. However, on some issues, Office Online and iWork for iCloud are still inferior to Google Docs : for example, you can leave only one comment to a cell or a piece of text, while Google allows you to arrange entire chains of comments and mark people in them so that they can notification by mail.

    For both giants, the thirst for the cloud also led to a change in the usual distribution patterns of the package. Microsoft, although it retained the opportunity to purchase Office one-time, began to focus on the Office 365 subscription, which for a monthly fee provides both Office and a place in the OneDrive service. Those who are willing to do a web version without installing programs on a computer, and at all got the opportunity to use Office for free. And Apple, which previously limited iWork to its own ecosystem, reached out to the audience of all desktop operating systems with the web version: it became possible, for example, to start an iWork document on a MacBook, and then continue working on it on a Windows computer.


    This is where the history of office software comes to the present moment, and it may seem that everything will remain the same further: users already have everything they need, what more can they want? But just previous events show that such a feeling can easily be deceptive.

    What exactly will change in this case? Following the cloudiness and cross-platform, one more characteristic can gradually turn from “superfluous will not be” to “necessarily”.

    In the past few years, due to various events, from Snowden’s revelations to Apple’s confrontation with the FBI, tensions have increased around data security issues.. It seems that everyone knows that the safer the better, but now people pay more and more attention to it, and the software market reacts to it: for example, instant messengers offer end-to-end encryption. It is likely that in the case of office suites, the question “where my documents are stored and who can see them” will become more acute.

    It turns out that in 2016, a good office suite should be cross-platform, have versions for different devices and make it convenient to work together on a document, and it is also desirable that he had something to offer to those who care about security.

    "MyOffice" joined this race, offering all of the above, including the option "Private Cloud": you can store data with it, not on other servers. More information about the package - in our following texts.

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