Microsoft has fallen in love with showing off Apple devices on stage during its big tech conferences.
On Monday, Julia White, general manager of Microsoft’s Office Division, did a big demo of Office for iPad during the keynote at Microsoft TechEd customer conference in Houston.
Most of what she showed off wasn’t new. She was emphasising features for this particular crowd, corporate IT professionals.
She showed them things like how Office for iPad would let them control the kinds of info Office users can share. Admins can block copy/paste into apps that IT doesn’t manage.
For instance, they could block people from pasting info into an Apple email but let them paste that same info into a Microsoft Outlook Web Access (OWA) email, reported Arstechnica’s Peter Bright in a live blog.
Using Apple tech in keynotes seems to become a mandatory part of a Microsoft conference these days, ever since CEO Satya Nadella made the controversial decision to use a Mac in a demo last year.
During Nadella’s keynote during the 2013 developer’s conference, Build, another Microsoft employee used a Mac to show how easy it was to build iOS apps on Microsoft’s cloud, Azure.
Nadella was running the cloud unit in those days. He wasn’t CEO yet.
Then again in April, at this year’s Build developer’s conference, iPhones were featured all over the place. They were used to show iOS apps running on Azure.
Microsoft even featured the most famous pro-Apple blogger in the world, John Gruber, in a promotional video.
Nadella has been making the point that using another company’s technology, even in public, shouldn’t matter. He wants Microsoft to build software, development tools, and cloud services that work with all the popular devices, iOS and Android included.
That’s a big shift in Microsoft’s culture, and a smart one.
And with every conference where Microsoft software is being shown off on Apple devices, the message is being reinforced.