Microsoft Office may finally be making its way to the tablet world in November, according to recent reports. It seems that Microsoft has working versions of the apps and is preparing them to launch for the iPad and for Android tablets not long after the first Windows 8 tablets will (probably) be hitting the market.
BGR, citing “a reliable source at Microsoft,” says that the company is planning to release the “full Office suite” for both iOS and Android. What’s more, the iOS version may not be iPad only. The source said that the app’s startup screen reads “Office for iOS,” instead of “Office for iPad.” That suggests that an iPhone/iPod Touch version could be coming as well.
An iPad version of Microsoft Office is one of those rumors that’s been around for ages and never actually come to pass. People have been expecting Microsoft to bring their ridiculously ubiquitous productivity suite to the iPad for almost as long as there has been an iPad. Every once in awhile, a fresh rumor pops up, keeping hope alive. The Daily has reported twice in recent memory that Office would be coming soon to the iPad – once in November, and again in February. The report in February included claims that The Daily’s source had actually gotten some hands-on experience with the app, though Microsoft denied everything. According to BGR’s source, though, the version that Microsoft is preparing to launch in November bears a strong resemblance to The Daily’s February version.
Given the consistent cycle of rumors that don’t amount to anything, it wouldn’t be all that surprising if Microsoft never releases a version of Office for iPad. On the other hand, you have to wonder why in the world they wouldn’t. Office is easily the most widely-used productivity suite in the world, and the fact that Microsoft has failed to bring it to the increasingly large tablet market is mind-boggling. You can bet that Windows 8 tablets will have their own version of Office. But unless Microsoft honestly expects Windows 8 tablets to knock the iPad off its lofty perch in short order (which isn’t likely, to put it mildly), they’d be crazy not to publish an iOS version at least.