Microsoft Office for the iPad: What we know

Speculation is uniting around a November release for Microsoft to announce an iPad version of Office.

Conjecture about Microsoft releasing a version of its business productivity suite Office for the iPad has begun to coalesce around a November release date.

The latest media outlet to fall in line with that prediction is Business Insider, which reported Sunday that a source "familiar" with the Office sales team said that the product will be announced at the Microsoft SharePoint conference, which will be held in Las Vegas November 12-15; be available for sale during the holidays; and be ready for volume licensing at the beginning of 2013.

Pulling the wraps off a tablet version of Office at the SharePoint conference suggests the company sees the software as an enterprise rather than a consumer product, although there are plenty of consumers interested in a slate edition of the suite. SharePoint is Microsoft's software for collaboration within organizations.

The November time frame for Office for the iPad emerged in May when the Boy Genius Report (BGR) reported that target date and revealed that Microsoft planned to release an Android version of Office at the same time it released the software for the iPad.

Last week, The Daily affirmed the November launch date. It also reported that it had learned that the internal team working on the software had finished its work on the app and it had also passed design review. It is now being reviewed for Metro compliance. Metro is Microsoft's controversial smartphone-style interface for its upcoming Windows 8 operating system.

Speculation about Office for the iPad reached a fever pitch in February when The Daily published a photo of what was purported to be a version of the app running on an iPad "in the wild." At the time, Microsoft denied the authenticity of that photo, but declined to comment on whether or not it was developing a tablet version of its popular productivity suite.

All the guessing about a tablet version of Office has set off a debate about the wisdom of releasing such a product. On one side, there are those who argue that Microsoft needs to restrict slate versions of Office to tablets running a version of its Windows 8 operating system. That strategy would allow it to rapidly gain market share for the new tablets, they reason.

Others contend that if Microsoft wants its Office suite to remain relevant in the personal computer market—a market increasingly dominated by tablet computers—it must make a version of it that runs on the dominant players in the market. Those players are the iPad and Android tablets.

Follow freelance technology writer John P. Mello Jr. and Today@PCWorld on Twitter.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John P. Mello Jr.

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?