updated 10:53 am EDT, Fri September 20, 2013
Executive hints give credibility to rumors
Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer has dropped a hint that Office apps may finally be headed to iOS and Android. Speaking to Wall Street analysts on Thursday, he noted that the company executives have their eyes "wide open" when considering the potential benefits of bringing products such as Office onto competing platforms.
The company is "working on everything that you think we should be working on," Ballmer said, as quoted by PCWorld.
The executive fell short of explicitly announcing that Office is being ported to iOS and Android, however the comments are viewed as strong evidence that such projects are moving forward. Mobile cross-platform support has been referenced in persistent rumors, including a leaked roadmap that pointed to fall 2014 as a likely launch window.
Wall Street analysts previously estimated that Microsoft is missing out on as much as $2.5 billion per year in potential revenue from the iPad and Android tablets. Separate reports suggest the company had unsuccessfully pushed Apple to reduce its 30 percent commission on any app sale or in-app purchases.