The rumor mill has been thrown into high gear today on reports from The Daily that Microsoft is at long last preparing a version of its flagship Office software for Apple’s iPad. The Daily, citing internal sources, reports that Microsoft has several major projects in the works, including a new version of Office for Mac (the current version is not supported in OS 10.7 Lion) and the next iteration of the Windows operating system, Windows 8.
There have been no shortage of rumors in the past about Office coming to the iPad, and it is possible that the current crop of rumors will ultimately go nowhere. That being said, the timing makes sense. With new versions of Office and Windows in the works, an iOS version of Office would fit in nicely. Moreover, Apple’s own iWork productivity suite has been on the iPad for a long time, and sold well, while Office users have had to make do with third-party apps like Quickoffice [iTunes link], which are generally popular with users, but generate no revenue for Microsoft. Finally, Windows-based tablets have gained little ground in a tablet market so thoroughly dominated by the iPad that it can hardly be said to be a tablet market at all, but rather an iPad market.
That being the case, Office for iPad makes sense. However, there is no data at present on when we might expect to see Office come to the iPad, nor on pricing (though a price comparable to Apple’s iWork suite – $10 per application – seems likely). Reactions to the rumor on Twitter seem to be a mix of excitement and skepticism, with one user taking a humorously pessimistic view:
Microsoft Office for the iPad: Should they? Could they? Will they?
What do you think? Will Microsoft bring Office to the iPad? Will you be using it if they do? Let us know in the comments.