Microsoft Office coming to iOS?

And also Android, too

December 14, 2012

The latest iOS-related rumour is that Microsoft is planning to port its Office productivity suite over to Apple’s mobile platform.

In fact, this speculation has been around for a while, but a new report from the Verge underlines it in fairly certain terms.

That would mean iPhone and iPad users would have access to Word, Excel and PowerPoint (OneNote is actually already available on iOS). The Verge reckons these free apps are in the pipeline, and almost certainly due to arrive early next year, but they will have limitations.

We would think so, too. Microsoft’s trump card, certainly when it comes to the tablet side of the mobile arena, is that its Surface RT tablet comes with Office on board. That, and the Touch Cover keyboard, is a big plus for the Microsoft slate in terms of productivity usage.

Surely making Office available on the iPad, even with somewhat limited apps, will take away from Microsoft’s major unique selling point to some degree. Remember, you can buy a hardware keyboard add-on for the iPad, too.

But yes, there are those limitations. So what will they be? The iOS Office apps will only allowing viewing of documents and files – which is fair enough – but limited creation and editing functionality will be available to those with an Office 365 subscription.

The idea would seem to be, then, to sell more Office 365 subscriptions to iGadget users.

If the Office apps come to iOS and the rumour mongers are right, then the next stop will be Android, apparently. We shall see.


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