Step 1: Make Observations

With the growing popularity of cloud-based productivity products on mobile devices, users have most likely experienced first-hand the distressing phenomenon that is content decay. Though fairly new and ostensibly optimized for a variety of mobile platforms, the cloud-based software still relies heavily upon the devices it sits on. From a recent study performed by Prowess, “the great content decay experiment,” the results were clear. If you want to use Office on the go, your device very much matters.

Of the devices we tested, none of those powered by ARM processors were able to fully support the full Office suite. Content decay can not only change the appearance of your data, but it can actually distort the data itself. If you want to ensure the ability to maintain cross-platform compatibility, you need a Windows device.

Here’s why.

Step 2 and 3: Formulate a Hypothesis and Test the Theory

Prowess set out to investigate the functionality and behavior of Office documents on a wide variety of popular devices:

  • Dell Venue 11 Pro
  • HP ElitePad 1000 G2
  • HP EliteBook Revolve 810 G2
  • Apple iPad Air
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1
  • Google Nexus 10
  • Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9”
  • Samsung Chromebook


Our dedicated team spent months getting to know the devices and software, testing and retesting how content rendered on each device, and meticulously recording each step and result. The process started with the creation of “dummy” docs to test across two major areas: educational use and business use. For education, our documents included projects such as a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation for an eight-grade Earth Science class; for business use, our documents included deliverables like a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet for auditing reports.

We uploaded the dummy docs to cloud-based storage in their original, pristine form. Each document was then pulled down to each device using several different methodologies and a variety of apps.

Step 4: Hypothesis Accepted

We expected to see content decay in our tests, but we didn’t expect that the decay would impede usability as much as it did. Nor did we expect the devices to perform so differently from each other. However, devices powered by ARM processors and running Microsoft Office constructed a nearly impassable roadblock on the content’s journey from creation to delivery. Not only did documents and presentations look different from their original counterparts, in some cases the content decay actually distorted the information.

Hands down, the best way to avoid content decay is to standardize your organization with Windows devices running Microsoft Office. Devices such as the Dell Venue 11 Pro, HP ElitePad 1000 G2, and HP EliteBook Revolve 810 G2 rendered Office files without content decay.

Imagine how this content decay could upset real-life functions in both education and business.

Read the education white paper to experience a day in the life of students like Kris and Manish, who attempt to use technology in the classroom and at home. By using the Dell Venue 11 Pro, Kris can finish their joint project sooner than Manish, who has to alternative solutions when content decay invalidates his mobile device. Because of content decay, Manish’s grades could suffer from late work, and even worse, Manish’s understanding and digestion of critical material might be overshadowed by technological frustrations.

Read the business white paper to discover how content decay can impede daily work tasks. For employees like Taylor, Craig, and Lakshmi, an iPad Air can stop them from even importing files; and a Galaxy Note 10.1 running Kingsoft Office can render their files in encrypted gibberish. Because they cannot continue working remotely with their mobile devices, they must wait until the next time they are in the office to continue work for their client, which means they might miss a deadline. These avoidable delays can negatively impact their company’s reputation and might mean loss of future business.

More than ever before, the right device results in the right content. For both education and business, users can avoid content decay woes in Microsoft Office files by using devices based on Windows.

Read the full white paper “When Content Decays, Learning Suffers”
View the “Keep Students and Teachers on the Same Page” Infographic

Read the full white paper “When Content Decays, Productivity Suffers”
View the “When Content Decays, Productivity Suffers” Infographic

Share this: