Microsoft Office for iPad and Android tablets may be coming in November

Microsoft Office for iPad and Android tablets may be coming in November

Summary: We know that Microsoft Office is coming to the iPad and rumors also now state it will be coming to Android tablets. We do not yet have an official launch date, but we may see the application in November.

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In the past I wrote a couple of articles on using 3rd party applications on the iPad for word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations and as you can see there are some very compelling applications available right now. However, people seem to still want the full native Microsoft Office suite on their tablets and according to BGR Office for the iPad and Android tablets may be launching in November of this year.

Mary Jo Foley previously covered the rumors of Office for the iPad and I think this is the first time the rumors are also stating that Android tablets may be supported as well. Given the growth in market share of Android tablets it makes sense for Microsoft to try to get their application on every major tablet platform. I have considered the ASUS Transformer Prime, especially with the slick integrated keyboard, and having something like Microsoft Office available may help devices like the Transformer.

I think there are some excellent existing 3rd party applications, but there are always some tradeoffs in compatability, formatting, and features. Thus, having Microsoft Office natively on the iPad and Android tablets will be a welcome addition as people look to do more on their tablets.

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Topics: iPad, Android, Hardware, Laptops, Microsoft, Mobility, Tablets

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45 comments
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  • What a mistake...

    I cannot believe Microsoft would actually be (sorry for the lack of better word) idiotic enough to release an iOS or Android adapted version of Microsoft Office when they actively refused to create a Metro specific one.

    Even though the "desktop mode" and "Metro-ified" version to be released for Windows 8 will be more complete and powerful, not providing a fully Metro compliant version is an extremely bad decision. It severely underestimates the disruption it is causing to Metro users trying to evolve in a "touch-first" ecosystem. Any Metro activity that reverts to the "desktop mode" is a disruption.

    Microsoft had plenty of time to create scaled down Office apps for Metro. I have no clue who took this decision but it really seems someone in there is deeply attached to the old-way-to-do-thing at Microsoft and was powerful enough to convince the top-deciders.

    Not fun.
    TheCyberKnight
    • This is how business works

      On the other hand, it would be idiotic of Microsoft to ignore the 70+ million iPad market in hopes for few million Windows RT tablets on the market.
      danbi
  • It's hard to believe this rumor

    If this rumor is true, then there may be a large political battle inside Microsoft and Ballmer has lost control over his company. The release of MS Office for any platform other than Windows is the prelude of the fall of this evil empire.
    UseYourHead
    • You seem to forget

      They always had a Mac version of Office.
      lepoete73
    • First for Mac, then later for Windows.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Microsoft_Office#Mac_versions
      BubbaJones_
    • But, moreover...

      ...wishful thinking of an obviously biased individual commentor.

      IBM presents.. You Make The Call... LOL
      TechNickle
    • Documents to Go

      Documents to Go already has a large following on iOS and Android, if Microsoft wants to continue to remain relevant on the mobile space they will need to make Office available for iOS and Android....
      Doctor Demento
      • Agree

        I totally agree. Especially as tablet adoption in the enterprise grows. I'm not certain I believe this is as relevant on the consumer side, but for the professionals with tablets, this will be a must own.

        Any guesses on the price point?
        kenjionozawa
    • Use YOUR head!

      And know your history. There has ALWAYS been a Mac version of Office and Office was initially released as a Mac-only version!
      NonFanboy
  • This needs to happen on both iOS and Android platforms ASAP

    If Microsoft wishes Office to maintain its status as the office suite [i]standard[/i]. There's a lot at risk if Windows 8-based tablets fails to wow consumers, education and the enterprise. Perhaps the Office folks at Microsoft convinced Ballmer that it's time (really, it's [u]past[/u] time, especially for the iPad).

    @UseYourHead Microsoft has ported their Office suite to Macs forever.
    Rabid Howler Monkey
    • I know

      that there is Office for Mac. But Mac OS X has a neglectable market share whereas iOS and Android dominate mobile devices. If Office is available on these two platforms, who will buy Windows RT based tablets?
      UseYourHead
      • Not everybody wants iOS or Android.

        Personally, I will never buy an Apple product. I'm also getting disenchanted with Android fragmentation and all problems this creates, so finally I might be interested in a Metro tablet (I refuse to tag Windows to MS tablet as Metro is not Windows).

        I currently have a Playbook, but it's more because of the price than anything else, at 200$ and after their OS 2.0 release I just couldn't resist anymore just so I can say that I have a tablet (and I kind of like it too!).
        lepoete73
    • Actually Office was created for Mac OS before Windows existed

      So they ported the first versions to Windows, once it was done. It was when Microsoft was creating Word for Mac, back in 82-83 that Microsoft started lifting ideas, ans other bits of Mac Os1 to create Windows 1.
      Jumpin Jack Flash
  • False!

    How do [i]"we know that Office is coming to the iPad"[/i] when Microsoft hasn't publicly stated anything to back up that claim?

    Sources, or it's not happening.
    Joe_Raby
    • True..

      I've also read rumors (after I wrote them down) that ZDNet is about to S-Can Matthew Miller & Joel Evans... See, I can do it, too. Rumors are so cool to report on. They need no basis in fact.

      The world will end at 10pm tonight. Details at 11:00...

      If there is any validity to this claim, it will come in the form of Office 365 / browser-cloud compatibility, at least for 3+ years. But, that doesn't directly constitute Office on the iPad, but moreso, Office for all OS' with a browser.
      TechNickle
  • Wow!

    As an Android user on my phone and tab, but a intensive user of Windows and Office on my laptop, this is excellent news....if true (which I highly doubt!).

    Recently, I have been wondering as to what my next phone-tab combo would be and I am considering the Win 8 option (Though I have not used it, I don't think Metro will pose too much of a problem to get used to). This would work across my laptop, mobile and tablet. Why?

    I have found that while there are (at least on Android) good 3rd party Office-like apps (I am completely ignorant about iOS and its eco-system - though the hardware is lovely!), but they aren't really Office and the quirks are too irritating to keep fixing without disrupting the work-flow.

    So, though I think that if you are able to ignore the spyware-issue associated with Google, organizing around Gmail is very convenient (for me) and quite open (in terms of what I can do with Android in terms of rooting etc.), it would not be too much of a problem doing the same things - without that degree of freedom - around an MS Live account spread across my laptop, mobile and tablet. If this gives me access to use Office across my devices seamlessly, then hell yeah! I'd go for it.

    Now, if this rumour turns out to be true, it simply means that I have to get (most likely buy, which I would do willingly) the MS Office App for Android and be synched across devices. That's all. That would be sweet...for me - both in terms of usability and in terms of future upgrade prospects!

    But I am not too sure about the fundamental business logic that would make this sweet for MS too. Granted they would get the spread -across Win, iOS and Android, which adds up to a hefty number - but that would be at the cost of them deliberately leveling the field of competition between them and their phone and tab space competitors. They could offer a neutered version, but that would make it like the other third party apps currently available, which is not good enough. Better MS leverages Office to gain traction in the phone and tablet market by keeping Office exclusive to ALL versions of Win 8.

    But that's not what the rumour is all about, is it? Essentially, the rumour is about MS giving away a part of its crown jewels which, frankly, I find quite difficult to accept without further evidence.
    crystalsoldier
    • Not really giving anything away

      They're not really giving anything away. At least for now, iPads and Android tablets are much more pervasive than Windows 8 devices. With that in mind, there is a whole world for Microsoft to flex its Office muscle. I don't know how much they really make with Windows vs. how much they make with Office, but if they can make enough money with Office on a Galaxy Tab or an iPad or even a Kindle Fire, they would do this in an instant.
      Third of Five
  • If this happens

    If this happens, and it's a version of Office with a decent subset of features (I don't expect full-featured, but it'd be nice to see stuff like page layout, margins, a ruler and multiple text columns in the Word for Android) my new ASUS Transformer TF300 will be the so freaking awesome I'll... I'll... I mean I'll literally sleep with that thing under my pillow. I will weep tears of awesome.

    And I'd gladly pay $20.00 or so for it... maybe even more depending on features.
    dsf3g
    • I suspect

      You may see it, but bet the price will be closer to$100 than $20????
      eargasm
  • Microsoft Office for iPad and Android tablets may be coming in November

    I'll believe it when I see it. Microsoft should keep Office exclusively on their Windows platform to make more sales. On the bright side if this rumor actually is true it will allow the iOS and android users to see just how well Microsoft can code and then covert them over to Windows.
    Loverock Davidson-