Microsoft Office for iPad Awaiting Completion of 'Touch First' Interface for Windows Version

Dating back to the launch of the original iPad in early 2010, Microsoft has been considering the possibility of releasing a version of its Office productivity suite for the tablet platform. But despite repeated claims of an imminent launch, the only iOS release so far has been an Office Mobile app for iPhone available for subscribers to the company's Office 365 service.

022112-tech-apps-office-ss
The most recent word on Office for iPad came back in April, when a leaked roadmap indicated that the next major version of Office was due to ship in spring 2014, with an iPad version arriving in the fall of that year.

Microsoft does indeed appear to be waiting to launch the next major version of its main Office suite before launching an iPad version, as The Verge reports that outgoing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer today revealed that Office will come to the iPad once a "touch first" interface is ready. That interface will reportedly be arriving on the next version of Office for Windows.

Speaking at a Gartner event in Florida today, Ballmer said "iPad will be picked up when there's a touch first user interface." That touch first interface appears to be making its way to the Windows version of Office first, with the iPad edition to follow afterwards. Ballmer noted the touch first interface is "in progress." [...]

Microsoft's head of applications and services, Qi Lu, also commented on touch versions of Office at an analyst meeting recently. Lu said the company is "working on touch-first versions for our core apps in the Office suite," and that Microsoft will "bring these apps to Windows devices, and also to other devices in ways that meet out customers' needs."

The timing for an Office for iPad release remains unclear based on these most recent developments, but they appear to be consistent with the previously leaked roadmap, which would put the Office for iPad launch into late next year.

Top Rated Comments

ValSalva Avatar
139 months ago
Microsoft needs to break into separate companies. There is no way the Office division should have to wait for the hardware division before becoming established on the iOS platform. What a huge wasted opportunity.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
danielowenuk Avatar
139 months ago
Only way they will release this is if they decide to completely scrap surface. So yes, about late next year seems correct ;)
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
notjustjay Avatar
139 months ago
... only 4 years after the release of the first iPad.

Meanwhile, how many third-party Office-compatible apps have sprung up to fill that void?
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
peteullo Avatar
139 months ago
Microsoft has to know that if they release Office for iPad, the Surface will "officially" be dead to the world.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Squid7085 Avatar
139 months ago
Microsoft made a huge mistake. a $49.99 pure profit price on a full Office suite for iPad would have easily made more money then the Surface disaster has, or ever will make. You are a software company Microsoft, stick to it. Now they are in a situation where many people have found alternatives that work for them. People will either not even think about buying it, or only pay a much lower price.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BC2009 Avatar
139 months ago
QuickOffice is now free for anyone with a Google account. This is huge.
And of course, iWork is free for anybody who buys a new iOS device.

I have iWork + Docs2Go. With both I have not had need of anything else. I use Apache OpenOffice on my Mac along with iWork.

Two years ago, I would have forked over $150 for Mac licenses of MS Office and $100 for an iPad MS Office suite (assuming full document compatibility between them). Today (and especially by the time MS Office releases for iPad), I doubt I will even consider wasting my money.

----------

Subscription basis?: no thanks I'll use iWorks, good enough for tablet work.
iWork's touch interface is amazing. I only wish document compatibility with the MS Office and the desktop version of iWork were better. Most of my problems are missing fonts, but there are some things you can do in the desktop versions of iWork that break or confuse the iOS versions. It's an issue when saving a document to iCloud and moving between platforms.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

General Apps Messages

iMessage Down for Some Users [Update: Service Restored]

Thursday May 16, 2024 3:00 pm PDT by
The iMessage service that Apple users to send messages to one another appears to be down for some users, and messages are failing to go out or are taking an extra long time to send. There are numerous reports about the issue on social networks and a spike of outage reports on Down Detector, but Apple's System Status page is not yet reporting an outage. Update: Apple's status page says...
iOS 17

Troubling iOS 17.5 Bug Reportedly Resurfacing Old Deleted Photos

Wednesday May 15, 2024 5:29 am PDT by
There are concerning reports on Reddit that Apple's latest iOS 17.5 update has introduced a bug that causes old photos that were deleted – in some cases years ago – to reappear in users' photo libraries. After updating their iPhone, one user said they were shocked to find old NSFW photos that they deleted in 2021 suddenly showing up in photos marked as recently uploaded to iCloud. Other...
iphone 15 pro max vs iphone 16 pro max

iPhone 16 Pro Max Looks This Much Bigger Beside iPhone 15 Pro Max

Thursday May 16, 2024 4:51 am PDT by
This year's upcoming iPhone 16 Pro Max is expected to get a boost in overall size from 6.7-inches to 6.9-inches, and a new image gives us a good idea of how the current iPhone 15 Pro Max compares to what could be Apple's largest ever iPhone. The image above, posted on X by ZONEofTECH, shows a dummy model representing the ‌iPhone 16 Pro‌ Max alongside an actual iPhone 15 Pro Max. Dummy...
iOS 17

iOS 17.5 Bug May Also Resurface Deleted Photos on Wiped, Sold Devices

Friday May 17, 2024 12:24 pm PDT by
A bug in iOS 17.5 is apparently causing photos that have been deleted to reappear, and the issue seems to impact even iPhones and iPads that have been erased and sold off to other people. A Reddit user wiped an iPad following Apple's guidelines in September of 2023 before selling it off to a friend. That friend updated the iPad to iPadOS 17.5 this week, and began seeing the Reddit user's old ...
oled m4 ipad pro grainy display reports

OLED iPad Pro Users Report 'Grainy' Displays, But It May Not Be a Defect

Friday May 17, 2024 5:57 am PDT by
Some new M4 iPad Pro models are exhibiting a visible static grain pattern across the OLED display, according to several user reports on Reddit (1, 2, 3) and the MacRumors Forums. Image credit: MacRumors user bk215 Users who see the grain generally report that it is most noticeable in dark environments with the display set at a low to medium brightness while viewing content with gray or muted...
Delta Hands On Feature

iPhone Emulators on the App Store: Game Boy, N64, PS1, PSP, and More

Thursday May 16, 2024 12:45 pm PDT by
In April, Apple updated its guidelines to allow retro game emulators on the App Store, and several popular emulators have already been released. The emulators released so far allow iPhone users to play games released for older consoles from Nintendo, Sony, SEGA, Atari, and others. A list of some popular emulators available on the App Store so far follows. Released Delta Delta is...