One month ago, Microsoft’s Czech Republic subsidiary jumped the gun with a press release stating that Microsoft Office 2013 will be available for iOS and Android starting next year, and that versions of the software will also be available for Windows Phone 8, Windows RT, Mac OS, and Symbian. In addition, a Microsoft Office product manager was quoted in the Czech press as saying the iOS and Android version will be launching in March 2013.
The head of Microsoft corporate communications quickly disavowed the news and the release was retracted, but the damage had already been done.
Today, The Verge is reporting that Microsoft Office for iPad, iPhone, and Android really will be launching in “early 2013.” Citing “several” unnamed sources “close to Microsoft’s plans,” the report states that the free apps will allow users to look at Office documents on their mobile devices. Of course, a Microsoft Account is also required, and to edit the documents users will require an Office 365 subscription. Getting a little more specific, The Verge stated that Office 2013 mobile will roll out in “late February or early March” for iOS, and that an Android version is due for May.
It sounds as if Office 2013 will be very similar to the Google Drive app for iOS and Android. The Drive app similarly requires a Google Account, though it provides free basic editing of text documents. The Verge reports that, even with a subscription, the mobile version of Office will only allow basic editing that isn’t comparable to the Windows 8 version of Office 2013.