A new report from ZDNet suggests that Microsoft will be bringing its Office productivity suite to the iPad “sooner than most think.” Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet reports that many sources have indicated that Office for iPad may even arrive before the “touch first” Windows version.
The productivity suite has been rumoured for a couple of years now, but we have yet to receive any announcements or confirmation from Microsoft as to when the product will be launched. Office for iPad, codenamed “Miramar” will reportedly be launched to consumers before Microsoft’s Metro-style versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote, which have been codenamed “Gemini.”
But I hear Ballmer and the senior leaders of the company may have had a change of heart towards the end of last year. According to one of my contacts, Ballmer OK’d the suggestion by the Office team that they’d bring Office for iPad to market as soon as it was ready, even though that would likely mean before the Windows 8 version. I’m hearing that new date for Office for iPad is some time in the first half of calendar 2014. (My sources last summer were hearing Office for iPad wouldn’t debut until Fall 2014.)
It is still unclear when Office for iPad will arrive, but it will presumably require a subscription to Office 365. The suite of productivity applications may also be integrated with the company’s OneDrive cloud storage. Currently, Microsoft offers an iPhone app that offers viewing and limited editing capabilities, but it requires an Office 365 subscription.
Microsoft officials have denied to comment on anything to do with Office for iPad.