Microsoft has already promised Office for Windows 8 tablets, but it looks like the company is covering all of its bases.
Office will be available for Windows 8 tablets when it ships, presumably this fall, but Microsoft isn't content with that. The company allegedly has an iPad version of its widely-used productivity suite almost ready to go.
The news was dug up by The Daily, a relatively new publication featuring former writers from Time magazine and The New York Times. The writers claim to have gotten a hands-on experience with a working prototype of the app, which they described as similar to Microsoft OneApp with a Metro interface.
The Daily claims to have had knowledge of the project since November 2011. It will include the three major Office apps; Word, Excel and PowerPoint, and users can create documents as well as edit them. No word has yet emerged on whether other Office apps and features, like Outlook and Sharepoint, will be a part of it.
An exact launch date is not known, but The Daily says the design team has wrapped up the project and should be submitting it to Apple for approval shortly, meaning it could be released in the next few weeks.
The Daily adds that Microsoft is going to pass on an Android version for the time being. Ouch.
But it makes sense, given the iPad’s dominance right now. The Android market is in a million pieces and lacks a single driver the way the iPad has Apple. Like the MacBook and iPhone, iPad is working its way into the workplace thanks to the consumerization of IT. That is, people bringing their personal hardware to work.
With 55 million iPads sold through the quarter ending in December, it only makes sense for Microsoft. I can see Office being a basic editing tool for Office, but not for large document creation. I mean, I'd hate to have to write this story on the iPad screen. At least use the physical keyboard accessory.
For its part, Microsoft has denied the claims.
"The Daily story is based on inaccurate rumors and speculation. We have no further comment," a Microsoft spokesperson said.