Microsoft Office for iPad Engineers Reflect on the Past, Talk About the Future

The release of Microsoft Office for iPad turned out to be a hit and a great start for the new CEO, Satya Nadella, who was thought to be associated with the release of the software. During a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) session, however, this myth was busted: It was Steve Ballmer who approved the launch of Microsoft Office for iPad, not Nadella (via ZDNet).

Office ipad 12 million

Is Satya the MSsiah like the tech media is portraying him? How much of the recent headline-making moves can be credited to him, and how many were Ballmer’s?
officeforipad: The decision to ship Office for iPad was made before Satya became CEO. Steve Ballmer approved the plan to ship Office for iPad. — Kaberi, Technical Product Manager, Office for iPad

During the session, Sangeeta Mudnal, Jeff Zhang, and other members of the Office for iPad development team answered a long list of questions, reflecting on the software’s past and suggesting future moves.

As it turns out, the Office for iPad apps are completely native, and the code for Office for iPad and Office for Mac is shared, as the development platforms are very similar. They “forgot” to mention any potential release date for Office for Mac, although they did suggest that something is coming.

The software, which was downloaded about 12 million times in the first week, will be updated frequently. Since printing is one of the most highly demanded features, it will be introduced in due time alongside other updates.

With regard to the possible rivalry between Apple’s iWork suite and Office for iPad, the guys from Microsoft believe the two suites complement each other more so than competing with each other.

“As for competing with iWork, I think the two products really have different aims and audiences. There’s some overlap, but the variety of user needs is really very broad. In that sense, Office and iWork more complement each other than compete with each other.”

You can read the full Reddit AMA with the team by following this link.