Microsoft's announcement last week that it will "include" four Office apps with Windows on ARM has analysts parsing the news like intelligence agencies that once tried to figure out what went on inside the Kremlin by poring over photos of who stood where on the Red Square reviewing stand.
Some analysts say that Office will be bundled along with Windows on ARM (WOA) sans a separate price tag. Others believe Microsoft would never give away one of its most precious possessions.
All acknowledged that Microsoft has not provided enough information, and that details may not emerge until just weeks before the company wraps up development.
Microsoft, meanwhile, declined to answer questions about Office apps on WOA, or to clarify what Steven Sinofsky, the head of the Windows group, meant in an 8,600-word missive published last week.
"What we know is that there will be some level of capability to those Office apps, but what we don't know is who pays for it," said Al Hilwa, an analyst with IDC who was briefed by Microsoft last week.
Hilwa and fellow IDC analyst Al Gillen interpreted Microsoft's announcement as confirming that the Office apps included with WOA -- touch-enabled versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote that run in the operating system's limited desktop mode -- would be bundled with the operating system, free to users. Read more...