Office online on iPad

Following up on yesterday’s release of cloud-based Office 365 for Macs and Windows PCs, Microsoft’s energetic CEO Steve Ballmer sat down with Ashlee Vance of Bloomberg Businessweek to talk biz, competition and discuss what’s next for the productivity suite. Office 365, basically a subscription-based offering, shouldn’t be confused with the just released Office 2013 suite.

Despite several credible leaks proving that Microsoft is working on Office for iPad, Ballmer isn’t afraid of an Office-less iPad. Little wonder, considering the Windows maker is keeping a tablet version of Office exclusive to Windows 8 tablets as a crucial advantage over other tablets…

When asked to comment how Office for iPad is coming along, Ballmer responded:

I have nothing to say on that topic. We’re very glad with the product, very happy with the product that we’re putting in market. It makes sense on the devices like the Mac and the PC.

We have a product that we think makes a lot of sense. We do have a way for people always to get to Office through the browser, which is very important. And we’ll see what we see in the future.

He also isn’t impressed by Dropbox and its 100 million users:

Well, you’ve got to remember, 100 million sounds like a pretty small number to me, actually. We’ve got a lot more Office users. And actually if you even want to go to the cloud, we have a lot of Hotmail and SkyDrive users.

“I’m not beating on Dropbox”, he added. “They’re a fine little startup and that’s great”.

Be that as it may, don’t take Ballmer’s ‘no comment’ comment for granted.

Quickoffice for iPad (teaser 001)

We know from before that Redmond has an iPad version of the Office suite in development: a spokesperson for the company told The Verge in November 2012 that mobile Office for iOS and Android should be expected in early 2013, adding the app will support Windows Phone, iOS and Android devices.

Unfortunately, checks indicate that it won’t be a full-blown Office offering. Instead, mobile Office apps will be a companion offering providing only limited editing functionality so Microsoft could sell you the full-blown desktop Office suite.

The question is, with a solid Google Apps support on the iPad, Google’s Drive app and mobile Office alternatives like Google-owned QuickOffice, do mainstream users actually need the official mobile Office apps at all?


I ditched Office five years ago and have been using Google Apps for all my productivity needs ever since.

Never looked back.

  • Johnathan Jennings

    I can tell you this. I’ll switch from my Windows computer to a Mac before I switch from my iPad to a Surface. If they won’t put Word on iOS, then I’ll buy a Mac and have all of my papers saved on Pages in the could across my many Apple devices. (7)

    • pauleebe

      I don’t know … if you need to send/receive documents, iWork is kind of a joke in terms of features and compatibility, and I usually side with Apple. And iWork hasn’t been updated for the Mac in FOUR years.

      If Office was released for iOS I would certainly buy that before using iWork.

      • AdamChew

        Yes, it looks like everything Apple did is a joke and the rest are innovating like crazy and making billions.

      • pauleebe

        Get a grip. Did I ever say everything Apple did is a joke? NO, I said iWork is a joke, because compared to Microsoft Office, IT IS! It’s seen no true feature upgrades in over FOUR YEARS.

        You can bet that Microsoft Office is a much larger success in terms of profit than iWork is, and that fact is relevant since we are talking about professional software.

    • wadjj

      Pages and keynote are great, and I have little problem replacing with them word and powerpoint, except for compatibility issue. Numbers is elegant but feature-wise it is just a joke compared with excel.

  • The new office 2013 is awesome! Hope we see a mobile office version with the features of Office 2013.

  • If Ballmer says something, don’t believe it. So take it as good news.

    Ballmer: “A phone without a keyboard? HAHAHAHA!”
    Ballmer: “A computer without a DVD drive? HAHAHAHAHA! It’s gonna die!”
    Ballmer: “We will always be great! HAHAHAHAHA!”
    (ok, maybe not that part)

  • Obsidian71

    Why does Ballmer still have a job? Office is irrelavant at this point. I’m not saying it has no value but with hundreds of millions of iOS devices the consumer has made the choice that not having Office isn’t a big deal.

    • Office is far from irrelevant. Step outside of your own bubble and realize that hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of businesses use Office every day. Within those businesses, hundreds of millions of employees (in the US alone) use Office every day.

      Having said that, I agree with you that Ballmer is a joke of a CEO, and should likely be fired.

    • Office the THE biggest thing from MS. Everyone I know uses Office!

  • Everything that Ballmers says, the opposite will always make sense.

  • commun5

    We won’t see Office for iPad for a long time. It’s the only selling point for the Surface Pro over the iPad, and plus we are talking about the MacOffice programming crew here, who are about as slow and incompetent as they come.

  • Ballmer seems like an asshole to me!

  • I don’t have any remorse on Steve Ballmer about MS products or anything else. I love windows and office, but why the hell i hate him so much? I think he’s the devil on the MS.