updated 04:06 pm EST, Fri February 14, 2014
May beat touch-oriented Office interface to market
Microsoft's long-delayed Office for iPad may actually arrive sooner than people are anticipating, sources suggest. In October, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer indicated that the iPad software wouldn't arrive until after a touch-oriented version of Office -- allegedly codenamed "Gemini" -- was launched for Windows. Toward the end of 2013, though, Ballmer and other executives are said to have changed their minds, and approved a recommendation from the Office team that the iPad suite -- codenamed "Miramar" -- go to market as soon as it's ready, even though that might mean eclipsing the Windows release.
As a result, Office for iPad may now ship sometime in the first half of 2014, instead of a rumored fall date. Still unknown, however, is how Microsoft plans to sell the software; rumors hint that it will require an Office 365 subscription. ZDNet speculates that it will probably default to saving files to OneDrive, Microsoft's cloud storage service formerly known as SkyDrive.