updated 01:15 pm EST, Tue November 29, 2011
Microsoft said bowing to pressure for Office iPad
Despite denials to the contrary, Microsoft is planning on a version of the Office suite for the iPad, a rumor maintained Tuesday. While details were short, it was presumed by The Daily in getting the information that the apps would have basic sync with Office 365 and Windows Phone. To stay competitive with the $10 per app iWork for iPad suite, Microsoft was likely to avoid its traditionally high pricing for Mac and Windows versions.
The company was also breaking its practice of alternating Mac and Windows Office releases. A new version of the Mac suite was coming in 2012 that would presumably better integrate into Mac OS X Lion. Because of the launch of Windows 8 next year, though, Microsoft already had Office 15 in development. The software's key change is an adaptation to the tile-based Metro interface.
Microsoft hadn't commented on the claims.
If real, Office for iPad would be an admission from Microsoft that it may risk being cut out from the tablet arena if it doesn't bring some of its key apps to the iPad. Windows 8 potentially merges a truly touch-native interface with a desktop version of Office, but it isn't due to ship until mid-2012 or later and may not get wide adoption on tablets. Similar to its lawsuits and royalties from Android makers, Microsoft could profit even if its own platform doesn't work.