The iPad is widely credited with kickstarting the whole tablet craze, and obviously it makes perfect sense that in the four years since its release, we haven’t seen an official Microsoft Office app. Smooth.
We’re told that it’s still very much in the works, but the surprising thing here is that Microsoft Office for iPad will supposedly touch down before the new touch-focused version for Windows.
Last I wrote about the whole saga, Steve Ballmer suggested that Windows was the priority, but supposedly Microsoft Office for iPad will be allowed to run free as soon as it's ready - regardless of the status of the Windows version.
Behold, a juicy quote from ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley: “Last we heard, it sounded from ex-CEO Steve Ballmer that [Office for iPad] was going to arrive some time after Microsoft’s own touch-first, ‘Gemini’ implementation of Office.
“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.”
Predictably, Microsoft is refusing to comment officially, but presumably Office for iPad will work in similar fashion to the iPhone’s subscription-based Office Mobile for Office 365.