Office for iPad reportedly coming in the first half of this year

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The long rumored ‘Office for iPad’ project isn’t dead, according to a new report from ZDNet. In fact, the outlet believes that it’s likely to make it to market sooner than most people think—ahead of Microsoft’s touch-first version of Office.

For years, Microsoft has been said to be working on an iPad version of its popular Office suite, but those rumors have yet to materialize. An iPhone Office app appeared last summer for the iPhone, but it offers limited editing functionality…

Here’s the report from ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley:

“Office for iPad — which I’ve recently heard is codenamed “Miramar” — isn’t dead. In fact, it’s likely to make it to market ahead of Microsoft’s touch-first version of Office (codenamed “Gemini”) according to a couple of my sources. […]

According to one of my contacts, Ballmer OK’d the suggestion by the Office team that they’d bring Office for iPad to market as soon as it was ready, even though that would likely mean before the Windows 8 version. I’m hearing that new date for Office for iPad is some time in the first half of calendar 2014. (My sources last summer were hearing Office for iPad wouldn’t debut until Fall  2014.)”

Foley says she still hasn’t heard exactly how Microsoft will make Office for iPad available, but it will likely require some kind of Office 365 subscription and probably feature deep integration with the company’s OneDrive cloud storage service.