MS Office is Top of the Apps – WhatsApp With That?

- 13th Nov 2014

In a matter of days MS Office for the little screens has shot from obscurity to stardom in the app stores.  What’s going on?  Well “free” certainly helped, and the Dropbox integration was a nice sweetener – but aside from that I think that 1 billion existing desktop users has something to do with it, not to mention 365.  Enough of demand side drivers. On the supply side, Microsoft is of course late to the no door-fee party.  Google and even Apple are well ahead of this game. It will therefore be interesting to see what follows this me-too move.

All this got me thinking about the parallels with brick and mortar retail playing catch up with the on-line purists; belatedly creating e-versions of their shopping experiences and also offering in-store pick up. But we don’t need to guess about what Retail’s follow up will be for their me-too moves.  We are already seeing it and its called geo-location services over WiFi leveraging the near ubiquitous smartphone that is velcroed to every young person’s hand (and any older person who desires to have any street cred). Chains like Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Target and Toys “R” Us are all piloting programs this season that engage customers via mobile as they shop, integrating the mobile experience with physical store layout, online capabilities, and in doing so trying to increase in-store sales and fulfilling orders quickly and efficiently. Some are even mashing this up with social network inputs to make the engagement even more personal and relevant.

So MS, WhatsNext from You?

More About the Author: Simon Wilson is CFO/COO for July Systems.  Simon brings 30 years of software industry experience across media, security, and enterprise applications in both the US and UK.