Touch-optimized Office for iPad still in the works, Microsoft CEO reveals

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
Outgoing Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer dished Tuesday on a new touch-optimized version of his company's Office suite headed for Apple's iPad.

Office


The company apparently plans to release a touch version of Office for its own Windows platform first, after which the software will come to iPad. Ballmer revealed the in-development software while speaking at a Gartner event in Florida on Tuesday, according to The Verge.

Microsoft revealed an official Office 365 app for iPhone in June. But that application was not designed to take advantage of the larger display of Apple's iPad.

The current Office application for iPhone requires users subscribe to the Office 365 service. That grants users access to Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents on the go.

A more complete version of Office for iPad will arrive once Microsoft has completed its "touch first" interface for the suite, Ballmer revealed. The exiting CEO did not give a timeframe for the software's launch, but did say that development is "in progress."

Ballmer's comments are Microsoft's first official confirmation of a version of Office made for Apple's iPad. There have been previous rumors and even leaked screenshots for years, suggesting the software has been in the works for some time.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 27

    But… but they said they weren’t making one.

  • Reply 3 of 27
    pazuzupazuzu Posts: 1,728member
    dupe
  • Reply 4 of 27

    Should make an excellent Surface commercial

  • Reply 5 of 27
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pazuzu View Post



    Luv Ballmer dish.




     

    How bad is this photo. My goodness, I can't stop laughing.

  • Reply 6 of 27
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member

    Shame that it'll be tied to an Office365 subscription...

  • Reply 7 of 27

    It will be in the works until Microsoft acknowledges that iOS and Android are the leading mobile platforms. They will release it first on their own devices in a last (and very desperate) attempt to gain market share. I guess it wont make much difference. Creating a complex document is not something useful in a mobile device or using touch interfaces. 

  • Reply 8 of 27
    g-newsg-news Posts: 1,107member

    They dropped the ball on Office a long time ago.

    The last version of Word I can remember to have been pleasant to use was Word 5.0 on the Mac... That was nearly 20 years ago.

  • Reply 9 of 27
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jhromeror View Post

     

    ....until Microsoft acknowledges that iOS and Android are the leading mobile platforms....


     

    Probably. But this is also an interesting case where MS right hand disagrees with MS left hand : it would then be possible to perform productive work without a physical keyboard, then ? Hence , what about Surface design choices ?

  • Reply 10 of 27
    It won't be out anytime soon if they're keeping it in beta till Surface gains momentum.
  • Reply 11 of 27
    Good news but I prefer Pages on my iPad. Also let's hope that's going to be stable and not crush the iPad. Besides Apple's office suite is free.
  • Reply 12 of 27

    WE DON'T WANT IT!  Another MS empty promised product that is late to the game.

    Why would I want to pay for a subscription to a product that won't get updated as frequently as the windows version. iWorks is free and very capable of doing what i need across all of my apple devices. I am sure there are people who need it, not me, I cut that cord a long time ago.

  • Reply 13 of 27
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,438member
    But… but they said they weren’t making one.

    Perhaps if Google fires Eric Schmidt he'll start saying sensible things as well. Well, maybe not.
  • Reply 14 of 27
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jhromeror View Post

     

    It will be in the works until Microsoft acknowledges that iOS and Android are the leading mobile platforms. They will release it first on their own devices in a last (and very desperate) attempt to gain market share. I guess it wont make much difference. Creating a complex document is not something useful in a mobile device or using touch interfaces. 


     

    Which is exactly backwards of how they should do it.

     

    1) Deliver and claim the 'we have the best Office' for iOS and Android  (in 2011), require a 365.com license for 'full' capabilities (I dunno, what that would mean, but MS would figure it out).

     

    2) When Surface is announced... work like heck to get parity for the new solution for the RT ARM version, and figure out a way to get the 'full' (keyboard) version on the Pro... Version 1.1 released for 'free' with the Surface with 365 integration (above) built in

     

    3) then let the market decide, and Office team to push versions out based on demand by platform, but eventually, monetizing releases (iOS is built for this, unfortunately).

     

    Instead, 4 years too late, MS is now shifting to a 'HW' based revenue model.... It would have been 'right' in 2010, but today, it will just kill them faster.   Being 4-6 years late in the consumer market can't cut it... heck in today's business, it doesn't cut it anymore....  MS is living in the IBM 80's, where a promise made was revenue booked 8 years from now.

  • Reply 15 of 27
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,501member

    Damn.... I was reading the reviews of the Office Mobile 365 on the iTunes App Store.  I wouldn't touch this half-baked solution until Microsoft works the bugs out.  It's obvious they put this out way earlier than they should have.  Too bad.



    We use Office 2007 and I have zero desire to upgrade to a subscription-based Office suite that I have to pay for every month just for the privilege of creating Word and Excel documents simply to use the mobile app.  That's not going to happen and I suspect I'm not the only one on this boat.

  • Reply 16 of 27
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,812member

    Why would Microsoft want to put its boffo enterprise Office suite on a toy consumption device? 

  • Reply 17 of 27
    pdq2pdq2 Posts: 270member

    Unwanted vaporware.

  • Reply 18 of 27
    Why can't they run the same office on iPad and there own tablets, is there a reason not?
  • Reply 19 of 27
    pazuzu wrote: »
    Luv Ballmer dish.

    1000
    Balmer is a dish that's best if its never served.
  • Reply 20 of 27
    relicrelic Posts: 4,735member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pdq2 View Post

     

    Unwanted vaporware.


     

    Really? Sorry but I think that's one of the biggest things missing from the iPad is a decent Office suite, big reason why I have a Lenovo Tablet 2 and soon a Surface Pro 2. Yes, yes there is Pages and Numbers but I don't know about you, I need formulas and scripts. Since there isn't a decent database available for iOS I would love to use Excel for that purpose. Being able to link 100's of companies to their own individual data Excel sheet and then run a script to run threw all of them picking out wanted data, then putting together a custom email for each of them is priceless to me. Can you imagine if it had a SQL import tool, oh man to cool for school. Pages and Numbers is great for the home user but a corporation and power users needs a little/lot more. 

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