Microsoft Office coming to Apple's iOS, Google's Android after March 2013 - report

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
A Microsoft product manager in the Czech Republic has reportedly indicated that native versions of Office for iOS and Android will arrive next year [updated]

Microsoft's Petr Bobek told IHNED (via The Verge) that his company's market leading productivity suite will make its way to Apple's devices, as well as those running Google Android, sometime after March of 2013. The details came from a press release issued by Microsoft's Czech Republic Team.

"In addition to Windows, Office will also be available on other operating systems: Windows Phone, Windows RT, Mac OS, Android, iOS and Symbian," the company's statement said.

The press release separately noted that a new version of Office Web Apps will also be available. In a statement, Microsoft's U.S. arm noted that the company previously indicated Office Mobile will be available on iOS and Android, in addition to Windows Phone.

Office


Rumors of a version of Microsoft Office for iPad have swirled for the past year, and tablet publication The Daily even showed a screenshot of the rumored application. One report from late May pegged a specific release date for Office for iPad: Nov. 10, 2012.

However, Wednesday's statements from Microsoft's Czech team would suggest that date will not be met, with a launch instead coming in early 2013.

AppleInsider also learned earlier this year that Microsoft was working on a new native iOS application for Outlook Web App, called "OWA Mobile Client for iOS," that will offer compatibility with Exchange 2012 mailboxes. It, along with a new version of the Lync application for iOS, will reportedly feature Microsoft's Metro interface, just like Office for iPad is expected to do.

Rumors have said that Office for iPad will allow users to create and edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint files. Dedicated Outlook functionality is not expected to be included in Office for iPad.

While earlier reports focused on Office support for the iPad, the mention of iOS in the overseas Microsoft press release suggests that the productivity suite could also be coming to Apple's iPhone and iPod touch. Apple's own iWork suite, including Pages, Numbers and Keynote, offers universal support across portable iOS devices.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 68
    sricesrice Posts: 114member


    i am stunned by this, but I guess it makes sense -- the MS Office division isn't going to go down with the Windows 8 ship.

  • Reply 2 of 68
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member
    Actually, it is impossible for Office to be on iOS. Unless I missed the change, suites of apps are specifically disallowed.

    What they probably mean to say (and what the blogs should *correct* instead of just mouthing Microsoft's marketing), is that Office will be "accessible" from iOS. Until we get specific evidence to the contrary, the obvious assumption here is that we are talking about iOS subscriptions to Office 360 (web Office).
  • Reply 3 of 68
    They had no choice.. LibreOffice is coming to IOS, too...
  • Reply 4 of 68
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,414member
    If I were a MS shareholder, I would be furious. Apple has shipped three generations of iPad which quickly dominated the industry. Microsoft is losing market share year after year. They are a software company and make one of the most revered productivity suites available. Apple showed them the way with Pages, Numbers and Keynote with the iPad 2 and yet Mocrosoft may not even have their software available until well after the 4th generation iPad is released. Meanwhile, they are going to go head-to-head with Apple as a hardware manufacturer!? Microsoft missed the boat here, much like Blackberry missed the boat sacrificing their market dominance, and are now all but doomed. Now MS is playing catchup, having lost the smartphone market, the tablet market, and possibly the mobile office productivity market.
  • Reply 5 of 68
    Good luck with that Microsoft. Both the hardware and the software. I mean that sincerely. I want there to be decent performing attempts by other companies so folks will stop saying its just that there is no one else and the iPad etc actually suck and so on

    And those saying that you can't have a suite in the App Store are a tad wrong. You can, you just can't having pricing that is x for each price but y for all three. Unless you do it as some kind IAP which wouldn't really work of Office.
  • Reply 6 of 68

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post



    Actually, it is impossible for Office to be on iOS. Unless I missed the change, suites of apps are specifically disallowed.

    What they probably mean to say (and what the blogs should *correct* instead of just mouthing Microsoft's marketing), is that Office will be "accessible" from iOS. Until we get specific evidence to the contrary, the obvious assumption here is that we are talking about iOS subscriptions to Office 360 (web Office).


     


     


    Except they specifically say office web apps will be available separately.


     


    Suites of apps are disallowed, but Microsoft can easily work around it by either



    1. Splitting Word/Excel/Powerpoint, like Apple does with iWork and iLife for iOS.


    2. Selling *one* app called "Office" that can edit all three types of documents, so long as it doesn't present itself as three "sub-apps"


     


    Judging by the screenshot, it looks like they're going for the second.  It's a new document screen asking which type of document should be created.  I would assume otherwise (ie in terms of opening and changing between open documents) it'll present itself as a single app.

  • Reply 7 of 68


    First of all, Microsoft is terrified of the post-PC worldview, and they're going to fight it by stuffing Windows into a tablet and calling it "tablets are peecees too." So it's surprising that they would do this. It sounds like they're hedging their bets on "what if peecee tablets tank?"

  • Reply 8 of 68

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Mac_128 View Post



    If I were a MS shareholder, I would be furious. Apple has shipped three generations of iPad which quickly dominated the industry. Microsoft is losing market share year after year. They are a software company and make one of the most revered productivity suites available. Apple showed them the way with Pages, Numbers and Keynote with the iPad 2 and yet Mocrosoft may not even have their software available until well after the 4th generation iPad is released. Meanwhile, they are going to go head-to-head with Apple as a hardware manufacturer!? Microsoft missed the boat here, much like Blackberry missed the boat sacrificing their market dominance, and are now all but doomed. Now MS is playing catchup, having lost the smartphone market, the tablet market, and possibly the mobile office productivity market.


    Great point. Remember when Bill Gates' MS acted as a partner with Apple, albeit reluctantly at times, and saw Mac users as potential customers for their software products? Ballmer has done nothing but try and compete in every product arena, failing miserably, and along the way forgetting that every Mac user and every iOS user is a potential customer for MS products. Why he has survived this long is a mystery.

  • Reply 9 of 68
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post



    Actually, it is impossible for Office to be on iOS. Unless I missed the change, suites of apps are specifically disallowed.


     


    QuickOffice Pro HD is in the app store and offers a suite of office programs in one app.

  • Reply 10 of 68


    I use MS Office 2010 on Windows at work and I think it's pretty awful. PowerPoint now regularly crashes. Just by clicking on a slide in an open document, BAM! PowerPoint auto-restarts and auto-recovers the unsaved edits, but Jesus, what a POS. I've had it happen repeatedly, as in: crash, restart, crash restart, crash, restart all within the span of a few minutes. So with Microsoft, you don't just use their applications, you gotta be your own IT department and figure out what Windows Update patch crippled Office.


     


    Outlook is another POS that frequently stops working, hangs, or stops responding.


    Excel is pretty good, not particularly innovative, but it's had the fewest crashes.


    Word is OK, but crashes more than I would like.


    Hate the Office Ribbon interface. I give MS points for trying to unify the old cluttered dozens-of-toolbars UI, but Ribbon is just a toolbar and menu with a different name. That's not innovation.


     


    I have no interest in helping Microsoft extend their Office hegemony into the post-PC universe.

  • Reply 11 of 68
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bluefish86 View Post


     


     


    Except they specifically say office web apps will be available separately.


     


    Suites of apps are disallowed, but Microsoft can easily work around it by either



    1. Splitting Word/Excel/Powerpoint, like Apple does with iWork and iLife for iOS.


    2. Selling *one* app called "Office" that can edit all three types of documents, so long as it doesn't present itself as three "sub-apps"


     


    Judging by the screenshot, it looks like they're going for the second.  It's a new document screen asking which type of document should be created.  I would assume otherwise (ie in terms of opening and changing between open documents) it'll present itself as a single app.



     


    All true in terms of possibilities but I still think the likelihood is:  


     


    3.  Office "app" that acts as portal to Office 360 on the web.  


     


    My reasoning is that same screenshot seems to leave out option number 1.  Also, Word itself is a nightmarish hodge-podge of hundreds of commands and details and it would be a herculean task for Microsoft to port to iOS.  They would essentially have to remake it from the ground up.  Excel is the same, as is Powerpoint.  These represent three separate, and absolutely HUGE endeavours.  Making a single "Office" app that contains all those things from all three apps together, all wrapped up in a simple, easy to use iOS app, is basically unworkable IMO.  


    Furthermore, the kind of reworking necessary is such an involved task that it would make much more sense for them to do it for their platform first and then iOS second.  Why sink all those resources (likely a multi-year project involving large numbers of people), into something for a competing platform?  Especially when your own platform is still nascent and would sorely need the boost such a set of apps could provide? 


     


    The fact that they don't have a "Metro" version of Office (and probably can't even make one yet), is the very reason they are going with the goofy "Windows RT" strategy.  If they don't have a "Metro" Office, I don't believe they have an iOS one either.  

  • Reply 12 of 68
    Perfect- my toy will become a tool.
  • Reply 13 of 68
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post


    I use MS Office 2010 on Windows at work and I think it's pretty awful. PowerPoint now regularly crashes. Just by clicking on a slide in an open document, BAM! PowerPoint auto-restarts and auto-recovers the unsaved edits, but Jesus, what a POS. I've had it happen repeatedly, as in: crash, restart, crash restart, crash, restart all within the span of a few minutes. So with Microsoft, you don't just use their applications, you gotta be your own IT department and figure out what Windows Update patch crippled Office.


     


    Outlook is another POS that frequently stops working, hangs, or stops responding.


    Excel is pretty good, not particularly innovative, but it's had the fewest crashes.


    Word is OK, but crashes more than I would like.


    Hate the Office Ribbon interface. I give MS points for trying to unify the old cluttered dozens-of-toolbars UI, but Ribbon is just a toolbar and menu with a different name. That's not innovation.


     


    I have no interest in helping Microsoft extend their Office hegemony into the post-PC universe.



     


    I agree with most of your points.  I switched to Pages about two or three years ago when it first (IMO of course) became a useable and indeed better alternative to Word and haven't looked back since.  


     


    To be honest though, I must admit the compatibility of Word with other people is still something I miss.  I don't exchange documents a lot, but when you do it's usually a problem because usually the other person has Word.  It's not a big problem but it's there.  


     


    As much as I like Pages, the development on it is slow at best and it's infuriating how few resources Apple puts towards it.  It could be fantastic but instead it's just "okay."  I'd like to see Apple actually try and make a better word processor than Word, and beat it in every way so that the choice was clearer for new users.  


     


    To be totally honest, if Microsoft *did* come out with Word for iOS and it was actually designed even as moderately well as Pages is, I would likely switch back, and I'm a hard core Pages user at this point and a writer of thousands of words a day.  I'm reasonably certain this will never happen though as the basic design for Word was set in stone years ago and they've just been moving the icons around ever since.  


     


    I honestly don't think Microsoft has the software chops to actually design a good program from scratch anymore. let alone one for post PC devices.  The real designers have all left the building years ago, and almost all their new interesting stuff was done by some outside company they subsequently bought out. 

  • Reply 14 of 68
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,507member
    gazoobee wrote: »
    Actually, it is impossible for Office to be on iOS. Unless I missed the change, suites of apps are specifically disallowed.
    What they probably mean to say (and what the blogs should *correct* instead of just mouthing Microsoft's marketing), is that Office will be "accessible" from iOS. Until we get specific evidence to the contrary, the obvious assumption here is that we are talking about iOS subscriptions to Office 360 (web Office).

    There are ways around this. Office could come as one app, with tappable buttons for the other portions. Besides, what is meant by suites of apps? I have several apps that qualify as suites. You have a main menu, and from that you select which app in the suite you want. You can purchase more apps for the suite as you need.

    I'm sure the developer could assign common memory storage for the suite so that figures from a spreadsheet could be used in a word processor or presentation app. Apple chose to not do it that way so that they could sell the suite one at a time. Microsoft may choose differently.

    Look up AudioTools for one. That definitely qualifies as a suite.
  • Reply 15 of 68
    I look forward to updating my work Excel files on my iPad.
    And Word docs too.
    This will sell more iPads.
  • Reply 16 of 68
    zunxzunx Posts: 620member


    PowerPoint for iOS (iPod touch - iPhone - iPad) is the ultimate presentation tool in your pocket! If it is fully compatible with PowerPoint for Mac and Windows.

  • Reply 17 of 68
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,507member
    But this is a big conundrum for Microsoft. It's been stated before. But if Office is available for iOS, unless it's cut down so much as to be just a fraction of the normal suite, it will cut into Microsoft's tablet sales. After all, there's nothing about Microsoft's new tablets that isn't already there for the iPad. Keyboards included. Except for a trackpad, of course.

    I have read that up to 50% of all iPad sales are to business. While I don't know what they are all used for, some of the biggest companies and government departments are using them instead of notebooks. I would have to assume that means some word processing, etc.

    If so, it seems as though business may be finding that for much use, Office isn't needed. If that goes on for too long, the grip Office has will be loosened.

    The problem Microsoft has, and it's a rock and a hard place, is whether to bow to the inevitable, and produce it for iPads, and other tablets, or hope that Win 8 tablets will sell because of a monopoly on the ability to host office.

    Perhaps they're waiting until March to be able to access the initial success of these new tablets, both x86, and ARM RT.
  • Reply 18 of 68

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by melgross View Post



    But this is a big conundrum for Microsoft. It's been stated before. But if Office is available for iOS, unless it's cut down so much as to be just a fraction of the normal suite, it will cut into Microsoft's tablet sales. After all, there's nothing about Microsoft's new tablets that isn't already there for the iPad. Keyboards included. Except for a trackpad, of course.


     


    If this rumor turns out to actually be true, Microsoft's tablet and phone sales are DOA. The only possible way they can get a foothold in the tablet market at this point is to leverage Office as a unique "advantage" on the platform. It's not a guaranty or success, but it's really their only chance right now. Throwing that away by producing versions for other mobile platforms, would be giving up the fight for Win 8 tablets and phones before it even starts.

  • Reply 19 of 68


    Originally Posted by melgross View Post

    But if Office is available for iOS, unless it's cut down so much as to be just a fraction of the normal suite, it will cut into Microsoft's tablet sales. After all, there's nothing about Microsoft's new tablets that isn't already there for the iPad. Keyboards included. Except for a trackpad, of course.


     


    Microsoft's a software company, and I think they should just take that to the extreme. Only make software. Not OS'. Get their money that way, the way they should have always done it, and let Apple take care of selling computers and OS'.

  • Reply 20 of 68
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,507member
    anonymouse wrote: »
    If this rumor turns out to actually be true, Microsoft's tablet and phone sales are DOA. The only possible way they can get a foothold in the tablet market at this point is to leverage Office as a unique "advantage" on the platform. It's not a guaranty or success, but it's really their only chance right now. Throwing that away by producing versions for other mobile platforms, would be giving up the fight for Win 8 tablets and phones before it even starts.

    That's why it's a conundrum for them. On the one hand, they're being advised, publicly, to put in on the iPad, while on the other hand, it xlu,d damage, or destroy Windows tablet sales for everyone.

    It's not an easy decision. Office is more important, in a number of ways, to Microsoft than even Windows.
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