Microsoft's Office For iPad To Debut This Month!

by CXOtoday News Desk    Mar 18, 2014


Microsoft may finally introduce the long-rumored Microsoft Office for iPad suite of applications by the end of March 2014, which is only a week away! Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is expected to address the media and industry executives in San Francisco on March 27, where Nadella is expected to discuss Microsoft’s ”mobile first, cloud first” strategy, and “the event will mark the introduction of Office for iPad”, a source close to Microsoft told The Verge.

With PC sales witnessing a quarter on quarter decline, investors and analysts have been expecting Microsoft to adapt Office for mobile devices from Apple and Google, rather than restricting it to Windows alone. But the Redmond software giant has been reluctant to explore any other options for its PC operating software. Over the last few months however, Microsoft has been working on the software having first introduced an iOS version of Office for the iPhone in June last year.

Read: The Road Ahead For Microsoft

The suite for the iPad is said to include only Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote, and possibly no other Office client apps. It is expected to be downloaded from the Apple Store but most likely to require a Micrososoft Office 365 subscription, similar to the way Office Mobile for iPhone works. in other words, overall, the interface and features are expected to be similar to the existing iPhone version.

Mary Jo, senior columnist with ZDNet mentioned in her blog that Office for iPad, codenamed “Miramar,” is looking increasingly likely to make it to market ahead of Microsoft’s touch-first version of Office, codenamed ‘Gemini.’

Microsoft officials have somewhat acknowledged that Office for iPad exists and is coming. “Last we heard, it sounded from ex-CEO Steve Ballmer that it was going to arrive some time after Microsoft’s own touch-first, “Gemini” implementation of Office. Gemini is Microsoft’s Metro-Style/Windows Store versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote,” says Jo.

However, the plan did not take off as it expected as Ballmer and other senior leaders of the company may have had a change of heart towards the end of last year. However, some believe that they wanted to bring Office for iPad to market as soon as it was ready, even though it means that the Windows 8.1 version would be slightly delayed.

After the introduction of Office for iPad analysts believe it will be interesting to learn what Microsoft has to say about its upcoming Gemini suite of touch-first apps for Windows 8.1, both of which are slated for launch towards the later half of this year.