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Why Parallels Access for iPad is bad news for Microsoft

August 28, 2013|By Salvador Rodriguez

The iPad is already a great leisure and gaming tool, but when it comes to getting work done, it hasn't been the best device.

That may have changed Wednesday with the arrival of a new app called Parallels Access for iPad.

The app is developed by Parallels, the company behind Parallels Desktop for Mac, the popular program that lets users run Windows on their Apple computers.

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Similarly, Parallels Access for iPad takes the programs users already have on their desktops and "applifies" them, meaning they get optimized to work on the iPad just as regular apps would.

The Parallels Access for iPad app works by connecting with an agent that users install on their computers in order to access their programs and their files using their tablet. Users must leave their computers on and connected to the Internet for the app to work.

Though the new app comes at a steep price -- it costs $79.99 for an annual subscription -- it also provides Apple with a powerful tool for its professional users.

Parallels Access for iPad makes it possible for users to run programs such as Microsoft Word, Photoshop, Final Cut or any other kind of desktop app that comes to mind. That's a terrible prospect for Apple's tablet rivals, but in particular it bodes poorly for Microsoft.

Earlier this year, Microsoft launched the Surface Pro, a tablet that is capable of running the same type of software as any Windows computer. The device launched at a steep base price of $900 but it came with the promise of being a better productivity tool than the iPad.

But now, a user could in theory purchase the cheapest iPad -- the $329 16 GB iPad -- load it up with the $79.99 Parallels Access for iPad app, and essentially have the same capabilities as the Surface Pro for a total price of about $410.


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