Microsoft is apparently ‘looking at’ the possibility of putting Office 2011 for Mac programs on the Mac App Store with a view to taking advantage of the software marketplace that Apple has introduced. AllThingsDigital is reporting that Microsoft is considering the Mac App Store as an outlet for their software on Mac, especially since they introduced OneNote on to the iOS App Store last week.
Microsoft would only allow Office 2011 on the Mac App Store if it made sense to their business strategy. While it would be a great opportunity for Mac users, should Microsoft give the go ahead for their applications to appear on the App Store, there is one big obstacle that would require a resolution. The issue of Apple’s 30% revenue cut.
As far as resolutions to this matter go, there appears to be two options which would facilitate Microsoft appearing on the App Store. The first is that Apple could remove or amend their condition that 30% of the sales cost be pushed to them. The price of an Office 2011 package could not be increased to compensate Microsoft for this simply because nobody would buy it from the App Store. Microsoft would also not be terribly happy about giving 30% of their revenue to Apple.
The second option is that Microsoft could make the individual programs of Office 2011 available as separate downloads on the App Store, perhaps adding a 20-25% premium to the charge, much in the same as Apple did with iWork. This would at least ensure that Microsoft was not losing a great amount of revenue from the sales on the App Store and, being honest, they would sell a lot more copies if they made programs like Word and Excel available as separate downloads.
While Apple is perfectly entitled to their profits from programs sold on the App Store, it is within the power of either company to get Office 2011 on the Mac App Store. Apple will also have to weigh up potential profits from Office 2011 against the fact that they are expected to launch iWork ’11 in the near future. Office 2011 is the competition and while it may be in the best interests of Apple consumers to see it on the Mac App Store, it may not be in the best interests of Apple.