updated 08:55 am EST, Tue February 21, 2012
Office for iPad gets early details
Microsoft's long-rumored Office for iPad got a much more tangible piece of evidence after a leak Tuesday purported to show the suite itself. As shown by The Daily, Office would be an all-encompassing single app with Excel, PowerPoint, and Word. The interface would recall OneNote but bring in more of the Metro interface language from Windows Phone and Windows 8.
It's not apparent if other apps would fill out Office, although Microsoft doesn't have as much of a need given the built-in e-mail app's Exchange sync support.
The project is effectively considered done and is believed on the edge of being sent to Apple for approval. If so, it could be ready within "weeks," the tablet publication said. As could be expected, Microsoft had no plans for an Android version.
If posted online as expected, Office for iPad would be a reluctant admission for Microsoft that it had to support Apple's tablet platform to get a significant audience for a touchscreen Office suite. A desktop-level version of Office 15 will be a cornerstone of Windows 8 and a claimed advantage for its future tablets, but Microsoft has shed nearly all of its market share in touch devices and will force it to start from near scratch. Office could also end up cementing the iPad's place in the workforce by proving more defintively that it can be used for content creation, possibly replacing traditional notebooks.