updated 02:44 pm EDT, Tue April 8, 2014
Technical limitations partly blamed for suite's delay
The recently-launched Office for iPad will get printing support "in due course," according to a Reddit AMA conducted by members of the software's engineering team. The team says it is also considering mathematical notation in OneNote, and working on implementation of comments and add/change conditional formatting in Excel. Something the suite won't support, though, is third-party Office apps, despite the fact that Microsoft allows desktop developers to hook into Office 365. Microsoft blames the situation on Apple's App Store policies, which block apps from installing code other than their own.
Significantly, the team says that the next version of Office for Mac is in development, and uses code shared with Office for iPad, meaning that iPad coding didn't create any Mac delays. The iPad suite did take a long time to arrive however, which the engineers blame on perfectionism and coping with technical limitations. One of them notes that when programming Word, the app would at one stage run out of memory on an iPad if it opened a document with too many attached comments. Solving problems like these forced Microsoft to re-architect some features, the person says.