Apple-Microsoft Spat Isn’t About SkyDrive, It’s About Office

Earlier the news was that Apple was blocking a SkyDrive update because of a tiff with Microsoft about in-app subscriptions—Apple Rejects Update For Microsoft’s SkyDrive App For Violating In-app Subscription Policy—when in reality the issue is around Office for iOS and Office 360. The disagreement could very well effect how Office for iOS arrives—if at all.

The story from this morning has certainly expanded beyond just a single app update, but into something much larger and more important to both Microsoft and users a like.

TNW breaks down the range of options in their post—The Apple-Microsoft spat over App Store fees could shape the future of both Office and iPad—and I frankly don’t see Apple backing down on the rules. If they back down for Microsoft, then what are the criteria when other app makers say “hey we want a break like Microsoft got! We don’t want to pay they 30% to you forever either!”? As MacRumors points out:

Apple, for its part, says that App Store rules are fair and are applied equally to all developers, big and small.

The issue is Office 360, the new cloud-based version of Office which Microsoft wants to make serious coin on. They are still huge in the enterprise, somewhere Apple is now making inroads into as well, and licenses are key to this. So is the BYOD crowd, they would want to be able to work on their Office documents and use Office 360 just like everyone else.

I think Microsoft needs Apple more than Apple needs Microsoft in this battle. With several viable Office alternatives available for iOS, people would find ways to work around issues. Apple might reach a deal with Microsoft, but what I think is more likely is that Microsoft will just back down.

Otherwise…we might not see Office for iOS at all.

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