Yesterday, we reported on an upcoming version of Microsoft Office for iPad. The famous productivity suite has always been noticeably absent from iOS, and the news that an app might be making its way to the most popular tablet in the world set the interwebs ablaze.
The new came courtesy of The Daily, who claimed that an image was in fact the new program running on an iPad. That image came with the news that Office for iPad was set to be submitted for approval to the app store within weeks. It reportedly looks a lot like OneNote and will start off with the three basic Microsoft applications Words, Excel, and PowerPoint.
Shortly after the initial report, Microsoft hit back – they denied that the image was a real Microsoft software product and said that The Daily’s story was “based on inaccurate rumors and speculation.”
Well, the fight spilled over to Twitter. An official Microsoft account @MSFTnews tweeted this late Tuesday evening:
Great respect for The Daily but regrettably someone is giving them bad info, and that’ll be clear in the “coming weeks.”
The Daily’s Peter Ha retweeted that Microsoft tweet, and later this:
That link led to a writeup where they stick by their story:
Let’s get one thing straight: We did not fabricate this story, nor did we fake the images in any way. A Microsoft employee, not a contractor, demoed a prototype of the app for us. We were repeatedly told that it wasn’t the final build and we did not report it as such, which is probably why Microsoft has said that it isn’t their software. Truth is, there are probably several versions of the launch screen being reviewed internally.
However, another Microsoft employee who is much closer to the project has confirmed to us several times over the last few months that Office for iOS is real and that it would be launching soon. We originally reported on this very thing back in November and a few weeks later, Microsoft released OneNote for iOS. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
Microsoft commented further to ZDNet, or rather declined to comment about whether or not there is a version of Office for iPad in development – just that the image in The Daily article wasn’t their software. It’s entirely possible that it’s just a case of Microsoft distancing themselves from a build of the software that’s not going to look anything like the finished project.
I guess we’ll know in a few weeks if The Daily’s Microsoft source was right about the Office Suite launching soon. Until then, you’ll have to stick to iWork and third-party apps for your productivity needs.