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Office for iPad release date set for 27 March

iPad mini

By Barry Collins

Posted on 18 Mar 2014 at 08:32

Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella looks set to unveil an iPad version of the company's Office software suite on 27 March.

The new CEO will use his first big press appearance to launch the company's most profitable product on Apple's tablet.

Nadella, who replaced long-time CEO Steve Ballmer earlier this year, will address the media and industry executives in San Francisco.

Microsoft has had an iPad versions of Office primed for several months now, sources told Reuters, but the company has dallied on its release due to internal divisions, among other things.

Microsoft already has a version of Office for iPhone, which is only available to Office 365 subscribers. Microsoft sources have told The Verge that the iPad version will offer a similar feature set and also require an Office 365 subscription for editing.

Investors have long urged Microsoft to adapt Office for mobile devices from Apple and Google, rather than shackling it to Windows, as PC sales decline. But the software giant has been reluctant to undermine its other lucrative franchise.

Microsoft gives up some $2.5 billion a year in revenue by keeping Office off the iPad, which has now sold almost 200 million units, analysts estimate.

Microsoft said in an invitation to reporters that Nadella will discuss "news related to the intersection of cloud and mobile" but declined to comment on the specifics of the CEO's appearance.

Although Nadella is expected to discuss his thinking in depth next week, the company has already signalled that it will adopt a more liberal attitude toward putting its software on different platforms. On Monday, Microsoft made its OneNote software available on Mac, and last week the company suggested it would launch a new version of Office for Mac before the end of the year.

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User comments

A crucial release....

This is "New Microsoft"'s first opportunity to demonstrate a new, and more dynamic direction.

Office for iPad, and subsequent Tablet releases for Android\W8 has to be both excellent and affordable. In Consumer products MS has to recalibrate its approach to embrace lower margins, but higher volumes. Apple has delivered it a potential market of 200 million customers for Office for iPad, so they need to make it a compelling buy.

A multi-layered approach which offers a cheap, functional, file-compatible tool for casual users through to an all-singing, all-dancing "Office 365" version integrating seamlessly into Corporate IT environments must be the ultimate aim.
In the short-term Office for iPad must be immediately available. It should be attractive, slick and speedy, and have equal, or superior usability to alternatives. It goes without saying that it must integrate into both MS's AND Apples Cloud storage systems. An ability to read\write files generated by Apple's applications would help....

By wittgenfrog on 18 Mar 2014

How much?

They reckon that on average they would get £12.50 per iPad per year?

By red3dwarf on 18 Mar 2014

RJW

Just what i have been waiting for having moved solely to Mac last year MS office on iPad should be a no brainer

By Sapper979 on 20 Mar 2014

Why limited to iPad

So I've looked at the quotes from Satya Nadella and I see something similar as being likely... but why just Office for iPad?

Is it because that's all you're interested in? What about Office for Android? That's had Office for Mobile, OneNote, OneDrive etc. for a while too!

Or is this another example of PCPro Fanboi'ism?

By CoxJul69 on 20 Mar 2014

Office for iPad

I'm probably missing something, but I can't imagine anything more frustrating than using a touchscreen to make complex changes to documents, spreadsheets or presentations.

By stefani on 20 Mar 2014

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