While I don’t agree with the use of Microsoft Office as some form of extortion to force users to stick with Windows devices, it’s hard to ignore the fact that one of the biggest advantages Windows tablets have over competing devices is the Microsoft productivity suite. Day 11 of the 30 Days with Surface Pro series takes a look at how Office 2013 Pro works on a touch-based tablet.

I have maintained since the day the original iPad launched that a tablet is, in fact, a “personal computer” and that it has the features and capabilities necessary to replace a PC for the vast majority of users. One thing the iPad–and all other tablets–have lacked, though, is Microsoft Office.

There are plenty of alternatives. Apple has its iWorks applications (Pages, Numbers, and Keynote) that provide the same core functionality. There are apps like QuickOffice and DocsToGo that deliver productivity tools compatible (to an extent) with Microsoft Office. I can also just use Web-based tools like Google Docs, or Microsoft’s Office Web Apps.

All of these things work in the technical sense, but none of them is really Microsoft Office. For many individual consumers, that may be irrelevant. But for business users, or anyone using a personal tablet to get work done for business, we live in a predominantly Microsoft Office world, and the best way to achieve complete compatibility and file fidelity with Microsoft Office is to just use Microsoft Office. All others fall short in one way or another.

Read Surface Pro, Day 11: Using Microsoft Office on a Surface Pro for more about the experience.

About the Author

I’m a Houston-based independent analyst, marketing consultant and writer. I follow news and trends across all facets of technology, and help people understand how the changing tech landscape affects them. I work with businesses to identify market opportunities and develop effective content marketing strategies to take advantage of them. I’ve worked in the trenches as an information security consultant, an IT manager and a marketing executive. That real world experience gives me a unique point of view that lets me see things from the business perspective. I’ve been a CISSP for 13 years, and I’ve been recognized by Microsoft as an MVP for 8 consecutive years. When I’m not working with technology, I’m a husband and father who loves mountains, oceans, football and golf. You can contact me directly at [email protected] For more from me, you can follow me on Twitter, subscribe to me on Facebook or add me to your Circles on Google+.

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  • Jack Shofner

    Let me introduce you to an iPad app called CloudOn. It has Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. It can save files to Box, DropBox, Google Drive, or SkyDrive… Oh, and it is free!

    • http://www.ahmedeltawil.com Ahmed Eltawil

      Yeah, Office on iPad without a physical mouse and keyboard. If that won’t make me throw it against a wall after 5 minutes of trying to use Excel then I don’t know what will.