Office for iPad: What Wall Street Thinks

Updated from 11:44 a.m. to include tweet from Satya Nadella and updated share price.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Yesterday, in a sign of the times in the technology world, Microsoft (MSFT) CEO Satya Nadella made a historic announcement, bringing Microsoft Office to the Apple (AAPL) iPad. Early reviews from Wall Street are in, and it's overwhelmingly seen as a positive for both companies.

At an event in San Francisco, where Nadella discussed the intersection of cloud and mobile, the new CEO announced Office would be coming to Apple's popular tablet, making it the first time Office has been on a tablet other than the Microsoft Surface. Already, it seems as if consumers are taking to the new apps from Microsoft. Though consumers will need an Office365 subscription to create documents, customers can read and present documents for free, and customers are taking to it in droves.

In a tweet, Nadella noted that it was a "productive Friday for iPad owners," with Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Microsoft OneNote the top 4 free apps.

looks like it's a productive Friday for #iPad owners! pic.twitter.com/hjoDxxbp7c

- Satya Nadella (@satyanadella) March 28, 2014

With an Office365 subscription, which costs $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year (students can pay $80 a year), users can create as well. This is just the beginning of Office moving to other platforms, general manager of Microsoft Office Julie White said during the presentation.

"The real goal for us is to step up and provide applications for every user," Nadella said, during the presentation. "The job No. 1 is to be productive to do more across all devices. Users and developers want to build on what others have done, like tackling multiple platforms. IT professionals have been misled in some of these conversations, and Microsoft wants to make them a 'hero' in protecting the end user."

Shares of Microsoft were high in Friday trading, gaining 2.1% to $40.20, while shares of Apple were lower, falling 0.57% to $534.40.

Initial reviews from various publications have largely been positive, a plus for Microsoft and Nadella, who took over from former CEO Steve Ballmer earlier this year.

Following the announcement, Apple CEO Timothy D. Cook welcomed Microsoft Office and Nadella to the App Store on Twitter, a historic moment in technology between two companies that have long had a rivalry, going back to the days of former Apple CEO Steve Jobs and Microsoft CEO Bill Gates.

Nadella responded, thanking Cook for the opportunity to bring Microsoft's most enterprise software suite to the App Store.

In addition to announcing Office for the iPad, Nadella brought forth the vision for Microsoft, with the Enterprise Mobility Suite, which allows for identity management, access and device management across all devices and applications. Nadella noted this was like the Facebook for business. Included in the suite are Windows Intune, which lets users manage their mobile devices, and Azure Active Directory Premium and Azure AD Rights Management Services.

Analysts by and large were positive on the announcement, as well as Nadella's new direction for Microsoft, focusing on bringing cloud applications to any device and operating system, including iOS and potentially, Google's (GOOG) Android. Here's what analysts had to say following the announcement.

Oppenheimer analyst Shaul Eyal (Outperform, $38 PT)

"Less than two months on the job MSFT's new CEO, Satya Nadella, announced a new strategy in a press conference. MSFT will focus on scalable cloud applications with the view of reaching any device as new mobile workforces need constant access to business critical productivity applications. In this vein, Mr. Nadella introduced the Microsoft Office for iPad and Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS). Office for iPad is available in the Apple App Store and EMS will be GA on May 1st. With these announcements it seems that MSFT is taking the necessary steps to address current market trends. However, while we view the news as incrementally positive for MSFT we highlight an already fierce competitive market place it is going after."

UBS Apple analyst Steve Milunovich (Buy, $625 PT)

Microsoft announced it will make its leading Office suite available on iPads. While some Office features may not be a perfect fit on a touch screen, overall access to the Microsoft platform could be powerful, particularly in enterprise and small business. Microsoft's new Office for iPad (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) has additional features to work with gestures, collaboration, and hopefully cross platform capability. The integrated "laser" is pretty cool for presentations in PowerPoint. Office is now available on Apple's App Store. Non-subscribers will be able to view files for free, while full functionality will require purchasing an Office 365 subscription for $70 per year."

JPMorgan analyst John DiFucci (Neutral, No PT)

"We believe MSFT will see an initial boost from selling Office 365 subscriptions into the iPad installed base, though there will also be some degree of cannibalization resulting from iPad users who would have otherwise purchased a Windows PC. However, a simple analysis that assumes a 5% attach rate to the 195M iPad installed base results in about $683M of annual revenue (less than 1% of MSFT's LTM revenue), assuming a $99.99 annual subscription, net of what we assume will be a 30% commission taken by Apple. Note that this revenue would be recognized ratably over a one-year timeframe."

Sterne Agee analyst Robert Breza (Neutral, $40 PT)

"CEO Satya Nadella officially launched yesterday the iPad version of Office. The demo intent was to highlight the ergonomics efforts made for real productivity on mobile devices. Despite the resulting drag on Surface sales, we believe the launch is a short-term net positive for MSFT, as the App will likely be a top seller, boosting Office awareness and Licensing revenue by about $600M a quarter, in our opinion. We however reaffirm our Neutral rating, based on the current transitional backdrop."

Nomura Equity Research analyst Rick Sherlund (Buy, $45 PT)

"This news was much as anticipated and is directionally positive in signaling the strategy shift for Microsoft in moving to other platforms where users can benefit from access to Microsoft products. It is about serving the needs of users and not so much about whether it hurts Microsoft's legacy business (Windows on PCs)."

--Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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