Microsoft is losing out on up to $2.5bn (£1.6bn) of revenue by not rolling out its Microsoft Office suite to Apple tablets, a Morgan Stanley analyst has calculated.
"Our conversations lead us to believe Microsoft will price for value with Office on iOS and net 30 per cent to Apple (which can be negotiated)," Adam Holt wrote in an analysis note.
"Microsoft may get $50-70+ [per] Office unit. If Microsoft got 30 per cent attach [in one year] at $60 [per] unit on the ~200M base it is $2.5B [in revenue], more than the total amount of software [revenue] we forecast for Microsoft (Office + Windows) from 11 per cent tablet share in FY14," the note continued.
"The math is compelling and may drive Microsoft to move Office," Holt concluded.
However, despite rumours in recent months of Microsoft expanding its outlook to include hardware from one of its nearest brand rivals, no evidence has yet surfaced that Microsoft has any intentions towards the iOS space.
Meanwhile, although the Surface RT tablet hasn't exactly been going great guns at retail, uptake of the Windows 8-equipped Surface Pro seems, just over a week after launch, far more healthy. Exact figures are still unknown, but the device's consistent sold-out status suggests early success.
Still, with Microsoft continuing to lose a sizable amount in revenue every year due to piracy - Holt estimated $5bn (£3.2bn) - there's still an argument for Microsoft to broaden its horizons.
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