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Mobile touch versions of Microsoft Office have been in the works for a long time, but a report this weekend by Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet indicates that the rumored “Office for iPad” may see the light of day even before Microsoft launches. the next version of the software. on your own Windows 8 platform.
Microsoft Office has long been the productivity suite of choice for businesses, even those using Apple’s Macs (Office for Mac is one of the best-selling applications for OS X). Arguably, its unavailability for iOS has been bad for both Microsoft and Apple; the former loses sales and the latter is denied a key selling point that could help the company further consolidate iOS in the enterprise market.
Rumors that Microsoft was working on a deal to bring Office to the iPad date back to, but Apple’s mandatory commission for App Store purchases and the hope that Microsoft could use Office’s Windows exclusivity to gain attention on their own tablet initiative were reportedly roadblocks for the software. launch. Finally, in the end, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer told analysts that Office for iPad was on the way, but that it would only launch after the company introduced a touch version for Windows 8, a project named in Gemini internal code.
Now, with new CEO Satya Nadella at the helm, Microsoft appears to be changing course, with Ms Foley reporting that Office for iPad could launch earlier than Gemini, and that the timing will be “sooner than most think.”
But I heard that Ballmer and the company’s senior leaders may have changed their minds towards the end of last year. According to one of my contacts, Ballmer accepted the Office team’s suggestion to bring Office for iPad to market as soon as it was ready, although that would probably mean before the Windows 8 release. Heard the new Office for iPad date is in. the first half of the calendar.
While iOS users who need native Office support will likely be excited about the news, there’s a good chance Microsoft is just making Office for iPad available to those with Office 365, the company’s subscription-based Office program. . While Office 365 offers a number of attractive benefits for regular Office users, its $ 99 per year fee is sure to reduce the reception of the eventual release of Office for iPad, much like Microsoft’s Office for iPhone app, which it also requires Office 365.
Microsoft has declined to comment on this latest report, but Foley has a proven track record. So it’s a safe bet that Office for iPad will appear in the iOS App Store sometime in the next four months.
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