Rumors and reports are circulating that he Microsoft Office software suite will be available in November 2012 on the Apple iPad as well as the multiple tablet brands running the Google Android mobile OS.
The latest report about versions of Microsoft Office for tablets was posted by the blog Boy Genius Report. However, we've seen this movie before; CIO Insight sister publication eWEEK followed reports of Office coming to the iPad back in February. So far, however, Microsoft, Apple and Google have failed to respond to requests for comment.
Releasing Office for the iPad and Android platforms could be a good move for Microsoft because it needs to make sure that its bread-and-butter productivity application gets a piece of the action from the heavy sales of those popular tablet platforms. Even if Apple and Google tablets are the most popular among the BYOD crowd, most of these users are on an enterprise network that is probably Windows based. Windows on tablets could provide some continuity in the workplace for Microsoft if popular Office apps such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint are accessible on mobile end points and the corporate network.
On the other hand, running Office on iPads and Android tablets could be bad news for the mobile strategy planned for Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8 OS. The successor to Windows 7 is designed to run on tablets as well as desktop PCs. Microsoft is counting on Windows 8 to gain traction in the tablet space. If a mobile worker already has Office on his or her iPad or Android tablet, why would they trade that in for a Windows 8 tablet?
One theory on that comes from Digital Trends, which suggests that Microsoft could offer a slimmed down version of Office for iPads and Android tablets running just four apps Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote rather than the full Office Suite, which also includes Outlook e-mail and calendar.
This article was originally published on 05-28-2012
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