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Microsoft Office on iPhone

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The world’s largest software maker Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) announced the launch of a Windows app for Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone. However, Microsoft is not offering this app on iPad.

Users can access the app if they have an Office 365 subscription for $100 a year. The subscription will enable users to add Office suites to 5 Windows or Mac devices except the iPad.

Microsoft is trying to woo back users through its flagship Office software. The app will allow users to work and edit documents, which they were working on. But they will not be able to see charts, animation and other features on the phone.

Microsoft is likely offering iOS fans a taste of its software in order to woo them to Windows 8 devices. This could work to a certain extent, although the limitations of the iPhone version, not to mention the considerable cost, may result in a few takers.  

Acccording to IDC, at the end of the first quarter of 2013, Samsung led the smartphone space with 32.7% of market share and witnessed a year-over-year jump of 60.7%, leaving behind Apple, LG, Huawei, ZTE and others.

Microsoft’s Office 365 is gaining traction in the market as it recently launched its online version focusing on touch devices. Further, it is being deployed at the stores of retailers such as J. C. Penney Company Inc. (JCP) and U.K.-based Tesco as well as government departments such as the Texas Department of Information Resources, which chose the software for inter-departmental activities. The latest to jump on the bandwagon is the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (:IFRC), which also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Microsoft. Further, Microsoft’s software is gaining ground in the healthcare sector. The company continues to innovate, launching separate versions for businesses and student communities.

Currently, just like other PC makers, Microsoft is also battling the slump in the PC market caused by the sluggish economy. In addition, the popularity of smartphones and tablets from Apple and Google (GOOG) are cannibalizing PC market sales, further deteriorating the scenario. Whether it can come out of the slump on the back of its new software and OS is a wait and see game.

Microsoft reported revenues excluding deferrals of $20.49 billion in the third quarter of fiscal 2013, which was down 4.5% sequentially but up 17.7% from last year, more or less in line with our estimates. All segments grew strongly from the year-ago quarter and declined only slightly from the seasonally strong December quarter. Microsoft’s Business Division grew both sequentially and year over year.

Microsoft has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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