The Globe and Mail: New apps improve iPad's Microsoft compatibility

(September 6, 2012) As you would expect of an independent technology analyst, Carmi Levy usually carries lots of technology with him when he travels. But on a vacation last year, he decided to lighten his load on a short trip to Quebec City. So he took only an Apple iPad along.

Sure enough, before he had even checked into his hotel Mr. Levy received an e-mail requiring him to do some work. So he turned to his iPad and found that, in fact, he could work on a Microsoft Corp. Word document quite effectively.

Mr. Levy doesn’t expect his iPad to replace his laptop. “When I’ve got a heavy work session ahead of me,” he says, “I’m taking the laptop.” But “I think productivity on the go is one of those killer apps that we haven’t yet seen for tablets, but we’re going to see in 2012.”

That means the iPad isn’t just for passively consuming content, analysts say, but can be a tool for creating it.

That, in turn, may help its adoption in business.

“I don’t know that you’d want to create a complex spreadsheet on the iPad,” says Mark Tauschek, lead research analyst at London, Ont.-based Info-Tech Research Group. “But certainly doing some light editing or creating a Word document is pretty practical.”

As the number of applications allowing the iPad to manipulate documents rather than just viewing them increases, Info-Tech has changed its view of the tablet’s role somewhat, Mr. Tauschek says.

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