Microsoft Office Headed To iOS And Android
November 7, 2012

Screenshots Show Microsoft Office Headed To iOS And Android

Peter Suciu for — Your Universe Online

Microsoft just scored a big victory with the release of its Surface tablet device that runs the new Windows RT operating system, and the company is also rolling out Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 — suggesting that it is firmly looking at multiple platforms of the OS that built the company. But Microsoft has never been one to leave money on the table either.

Screenshots released this week prove just as Microsoft Office looks to be in the works for iOS devices, including the iPad and iPhone, as well as Android. Office Mobile has long been rumored but the Redmond, Wash. giant has not officially announced it.

The closest to “official” was a Microsoft press release from the company´s Czech Republic subsidiary, which revealed that Office Mobile apps for Android and iOS would be available in March 2013.

The rumored Office Mobile would allow Microsoft account users to view Word, PowerPoint and Excel files on their mobile devices. According to the online site The Verge, the ability to edit any documents would only be enabled with an Office 365 subscription. According to online reports iOS users would purchase the subscription within the app or even allow organizations to distribute codes to enable Office Mobile to be used with editing functionality. The amount of editing, even with the subscription, would reportedly be somewhat limited to basic editing and won´t replace regular full use of the desktop version of Office.

It is also worth noting that Office Mobile will reportedly only include the aforementioned Word, PowerPoint and Excel, which are just part of the full Office Suite for the desktop. It doesn´t appear the other parts will be made available in the mobile version.

Last month Microsoft announced the new Office would be pre-installed on every Windows Phone 8 device at launch, and would enable users to view documents and make simple edits. The Windows Phone 8 version of Office, which is available in 40 languages and supports UI mirroring, also includes Word, PowerPoint and Excel, but the new OneNote Mobile is also available as a separate app that can be launched offering the ability to take quick text, photo or voice notes.

Microsoft´s interest in bringing Office to the mobile platform — even as it rolls out its new platforms for desktops, tablets and mobile devices — seems to be aimed at ensuring that it doesn´t lose market share on rival devices. In this way the company could be “hedging its bets,” as it looks to fend off third-party apps that are currently readily available for iOS and Android users.

CloudOn is one example of an Office document viewer and editor, as is Documents to Go, which also allows users to view and even edit Office documents. The more robust OnLive Desktop provides a virtual Windows environment that can provide mobile users with access to versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

Microsoft´s only response so far has been that “Office will work across Windows Phone, iOS, and Android phones.”