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Office for iPad coming sooner than expected, sources say

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.

by MacNN Staff



  1. pairof9s

    Senior User

    Joined: 01-03-08

    The Office 365 subscription requirement makes this DOA for me. I can understand requiring the subscription for cloud access thru OneDrive or Outlook integration; but to prevent standalone usage without Office 365 is both unnecessary and greedy.

    Let's hope the new regime doesn't see it that way. After all, that's why they're being brought in...Ballmer's money grabbing strategies were being thoroughly rejected by the public.

  1. Mr. Strat

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 01-23-02

    Agreed. Pages is fine for my needs, but requiring Office 365 would be a deal killer.

  1. Gazoobee

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 02-27-09

    Even if I didn't already use Pages for everything, "Office for iPad" is a non-starter because it almost certainly won't sync with iCloud. The choice will be to either subscribe to both (cost prohibitive) or to pick Microsoft's cloud or Apple's. When you consider all the other stuff that Apple's iCloud does and how deeply integrated into both iOS and OS X they are, why would anyone ever switch?

    Until Microsoft's cloud can become a drop in replacement for iCloud, not only for office type functions but for everything, it's simply not going to be an option for the average user. The only people who will use this are those that get the Office 360 subscription free from work.

  1. dwoodruff

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 07-14-06

    Well I completely avoid Office on the desktop, so it's tablet availability has 0% interest to me

  1. nycnikato

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 08-19-06

    There is no reason to doubt this. Users of both Mac and windows are aware by now that office 2010 was built on Mac First, but released to the windows world first. Apple kept toiling away for over a year and did not release the finished 2011 version for mac until later. This allowed the mac version to be the concept leader of future versions. Building on Objective C first has many advantages, including easy porting to ipad. :)

  1. aardman

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 11-18-09

    Too late. I would have considered it a year ago but when iWork came out free, instead of waiting for MS Office for iPad, I switched from MS Mac Office to iWork. MS should have switched from a Windows everywhere strategy to an Office everywhere strategy at least 2 years ago after it became clear that iOS (and Android) was not going away that easily. MS, as usual, too late to respond to the market.

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