We’ve been receiving vague hints that Microsoft, which is currently busy for the big Windows 8 launch scheduled for October 26, is also working on bringing the Office suite to the iPad. Today, a new report quotes a Microsoft executive as confirming that the software giant is in fact hard at work developing a native Microsoft Office suite for both iOS and Android. The software should hit the two mobile platforms “sometime after March 2013”…
Microsoft product manager Petr Bobek has confirmed that the software maker is planning to release native iOS and Android versions of Office 2013 next year. Speaking at a press event in the Czech Republic earlier today, Bobek told Czech site IHNED that native apps will be made available in March 2013.
The Verge has seen a press release from Microsoft’s Czech Republic team confirming the availability for iOS and Android, but did not publish it in its entirety.
In addition to Windows, Office will be also available on other operating systems, Windows Phone, Windows RT, Mac OS, Android, iOS and Symbian.
Microsoft will also release new version of Office Web Apps.
IHNED told 9to5Mac that “the timeline for Office for iOS and Android is not a March release, but release sometime after March”.
Microsoft Corporate Vice President of Corporate Communications Frank X. Shaw tweeted that the Czech subsidiary pulled this information out of thin air.
The information shared by our Czech Republic subsidiary is not accurate. We have nothing further to share. theverge.com/2012/10/10/348…
— Frank X. Shaw (@fxshaw) October 10, 2012
There are a plenty of Office alternatives in the App Store, including Quickoffice (which has been recently acquired by Google), but certainly having the official Office apps from Microsoft would give the iPad the definite productivity credibility in enterprise.
That being said, I’m not entirely sure about this report.
For starters, Microsoft is talking about Office for Symbian, an operating system that has been dying a slow death after Nokia abandoned it in favor of the Windows Phone platform.
Plus, wouldn’t Microsoft want to make such a huge product announcement in the United States rather than have a local executive in the Czech Republic release the details?
A US spokesperson for Microsoft told The Verge:
We have said previously Office Mobile will work across Windows Phones, Android phones and iOS.
What’s your call, is this thing fake or what?