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Is Microsoft Really Bringing Office Apps to iPad?

There's a rumor that Microsoft is working to publish a version of its Office business suite on Apple's iPad platform. Naturally the company hasn't responded to the report, but the move could be valid given that Apple controls 80-percent of the tablet market.

For Microsoft, iPad support would mean millions of additional people worldwide using Office -- not to mention Microsoft Word -- on a portable non-x86 platform. In 2011, revenue generated from sales of the software suite is expected to reach over $15 billion, but that number has a potential to skyrocket next year if Microsoft releases a version for the Apple's tablet.

But given that Apple's A5 SoC powering the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S is based on ARM's v7 instruction set, there may be more to this story that just an iPad port of Office. We already know that the company is working on developing ARM-based versions of its software to be sold directly from the Windows Store. These will be Metro-styled, but Microsoft may also be tweaking a version to be visually more iOS friendly and sold through Apple's App Store.

Microsoft is also reportedly working on a new edition of Office for OS X Lion, slated to arrive next year via the Mac App Store. The current version of the desktop client, Office 2011, already supports Mac OS versions up to Snow Leopard. Microsoft is also actively working on Office 2012 for the Windows platform which is now in beta.

An Office iPad app wouldn't be the first Microsoft product on Apple's iOS platform. Apps currently available for the iPad include Bing, MSN Onit and MSN OnPoint. Additional apps are also available for the iPhone such as Microsoft Tag, Windows Live Messenger and Wonderwall. That said, publishing the company's Office suite on Apple's platform isn't exactly a far-fetched idea.

Pricing for the Office iPad app is expected to be around $10 -- a price point Apple has established for its own Pages, Numbers and Keynote products. It's also expected to appear in 2012, but there's a good chance it won't hit the market until ARM-based Windows 8 notebooks begin to hit store shelves.

  • Parsian
    Microsoft is a great software company.
    Reply
  • Microsoft is also actively working on Office 2012 for the Windows platform which is now in beta.

    :S

    2003 - 2007 - 2010 - 2012... 2013.... 2013 June....... 2013 September...........?

    I think I'm gonna stick with 2007 for a while.
    Reply
  • AndrewMD
    I look forward to having Office on my iPad!!!
    Reply
  • amk-aka-Phantom
    Pazero01:S2003 - 2007 - 2010 - 2012... 2013.... 2013 June....... 2013 September...........? I think I'm gonna stick with 2007 for a while.
    You have a point, but basically MS made a new Office for each OS. XP, Vista, 7 and now this one will be for Win8. Frequent OS release = frequent Office release. Not that it's a good thing, but the reason is clear, at least.
    Reply
  • pharge
    AndrewMDI look forward to having Office on my iPad!!!
    A MS powerpoint on iPad can be very useful. I know there are always several ways to work around, but a MS powerpoint for iPad will make everything much easier, specially those business men who do not know much of computers.
    Reply
  • nordlead
    Pazero01:S2003 - 2007 - 2010 - 2012... 2013.... 2013 June....... 2013 September...........? I think I'm gonna stick with 2007 for a while.I was running office 2000 up until docx and pptx started to become popular with university professors. Even then I got the converter but it doesn't work that great. I stopped installing Office 2000 on my main PC this year.
    Reply
  • Yoder54
    It would be bad business for MS not to provide Office for the OS 10.7 and iOS platforms. For each Apple device that replaces a Windows machine still gives MS the opportunity to capitalize by providing consumer/business applications.
    Reply
  • freename
    I guess it depends on how many Windows 8 tablets they want to sell. If there's no exclusive MS Office on their OS it'll be a big selling point gone.
    Reply
  • sinfulpotato
    "For Microsoft, iPad support would mean millions of additional people worldwide using Office" I find it hard to believe that the people who own iPads don't already use Microsoft office on other devices.

    Yes, it could increase sales of Office, but I doubt you'd see new customers.
    Reply
  • getreal
    sinfulpotato"For Microsoft, iPad support would mean millions of additional people worldwide using Office" I find it hard to believe that the people who own iPads don't already use Microsoft office on other devices.Yes, it could increase sales of Office, but I doubt you'd see new customers.That depends. People who use Office at work don't necessarily use it at home. If these people were to buy it for an iPad, they would technically be "new customers".
    Reply