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Thursday, Feb 14, 2013 11:44am
Analyst: Office for iPad could be worth as much as $2.5B
Microsoft could generate as much as $2.5 billion in 2014 if it were to put out a fully-functional version of Office for the iPad, claims Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Holt. The estimate is based on an Office attach rate of 30 to 40 percent for Mac owners, versus 10 to 15 percent for Windows, although the latter may not include the stripped-down versions of Office that ship with many PCs. If 200 million iPads are sold by 2014, a 30 percent attach rate with a $60 pricetag would give Microsoft the $2.5 billion figure, even after Apple's 30 percent revenue cut.

Reports of an Office iPad suite have been in circulation for many months, but Microsoft still hasn't set a firm date for the software, or defined what features it will have. A full feature set may be unlikely, since iOS is missing things like precision input and a dedicated filesystem. Without a fully-functional suite, a $60 pricetag may also be unlikely; most iOS apps cost less than $10, and sales of apps over that threshold have typically been poor. Microsoft would also have to compete with apps which are cheap and fill in for some (though not all) of Office's features.