Why Polaris Office isn’t available in the Android Market

It’s a lazy Sunday afternoon here, which gives our minds time to idle on the big questions of the day. Like why isn’t Polaris Office available in the Android Market?

Our reasoning goes like this. One of the apps that EAT has been using most since it got hold of an ASUS Eee Pad Transformer is Polaris Office 3.0 by Infraware. It’s provided pre-installed on the Transformer by ASUS, and is a fairly handy suite of tools for creating and editing documents on the go.

There’s a competent word processor, a decent spreadsheet app and even a presentation creator: all are compatible with Microsoft formats for Word, Excel and PowerPoint, with full controls for editing existing documents as well as creating your own. The built in PDF reader is better than MyBooks. which also ships with the Transformer and is considered the default alternative to Acrobat.

Contrary to some reviews we’ve read, it also supports familiar Windows controls like CRTL+C and CTRL+V for copying and pasting when used with the Transformer keyboard too (although you can’t select text using the cursor keys and shift).

It is, as we say, a competent office suite.  It lacks a few key features, like word counts and spell checks, but it can download files directly from Google Docs and prep them for editing. It  can’t upload edited documents to Google Docs, or indeed to Dropbox, but it’s infinitely better than Google’s own Docs app.

So the question EAT gets asked most often is why isn’t it available for anyone with a Honeycomb-powered Android tablet to download from the Market?

The answer is that we really don’t know. Right now it’s available as an OEM-only product. Which means that manufacturers like ASUS can buy bulk licences to ship with tablets like the Transformer, but if Infraware other apps in the Market, so why not this one? If it were available for slightly less than more fully rounded office apps like Documents 2 Go, they’d make a killing.

It’ seems foolhardy to us, as we plough testing other suites for a comprehensive office app group test some time in the next few days. But there you go.

Feel free to share your thoughts if you own a Transformer or other Honeycomb tablet below.

UPDATE 1: Check our full hands on over here

UPDATE 2: If you’re wondering what all of the fuss is about why not try Polaris Office yourself

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