Microsoft Office Suite For iPad?
May 24, 2012

Microsoft Office Suite For iPad?

Michael Harper for

Every year, with every iteration, the iPad becomes less like a toy – a gimmicky thing only good for playing Angry Birds on a large screen – and more of a legitimate production machine, capable of pulling its own weight in the office. Look for no further proof than the rumored Microsoft Office suite for iPad.

There has been talk for a while about this app coming to the iPad, as The Daily claimed in November they had heard whisperings about the software giant creating an iOS friendly version of their software. Then, they followed up this report in February, saying they were able to have a brief hands-on session with the app.

Now, according to the Boy Genius Report, a reliable source has told them that Microsoft plans to release their full office suite for not only the iPad, but for those few Android tablets in existence as well.

According to BGR, Microsoft is aiming for a November release date for both versions of the app. And as for that brief “hands-on” the Daily claims to have had back in February? The Boy Genius Report´s source claims they, too, have had some hands on time with the app, and that the app so far looks the same from then to now.

According to the leaked images, the splash page for the rumored app says, “Microsoft Office for iOS,” causing some to wonder aloud if this means Microsoft will make their app universal, meaning it will be available for all iOS devices, iPhones and iPod Touches alike.

When these leaked images first made headlines in February, Microsoft was quick to deny their legitimacy.

Speaking to the New York Times, a Microsoft spokeswoman said, “The Daily story is based on inaccurate rumors and speculation. We have no further comment.”

Then, issuing a further comment, she said the picture depicted in the Daily article was “not Microsoft´s software.”

iPad users who want to use the device as a productivity tool already have plenty of options. Besides a bevy of text editors available in the app store – most of which can be paired with Dropbox – Apple has also released mobile versions of their iWork suite: Keynote, Numbers and Pages. Though iCloud was promised to keep these documents in the cloud and sync them across all devices (meaning changes on your Mac will be reflected on your iPad almost instantly) this functionality has yet to completely roll out as announced.

Microsoft Office is, of course, the most popular and ubiquitous software suite. As such, Office for iOS could offer the same kind of “iCloud-like” syncing as well as avoid some of the usual conversion issues when going between the Microsoft format and an Apple format.

Microsoft´s Office, on the other hand, does not have the same beautiful and clean design that´s synonymous with Apple products. Plus, as touch-screen computing is much different from traditional desktop computing, it will be interesting to see what elements of “desktop-Office” they leave out and how they plan to make good use of this new input style. Microsoft has been getting a good deal of praise on their Windows Phone and Metro UI lately, a good sign that perhaps they finally understand touch-screen and tablet computing. Hopefully, these days are long behind them.