Microsoft Office is one of the most widely used productivity applications, which Windows/Mac users can proudly brag of. However, the productivity suite is missing from most mobile platforms with only Windows Phone devices having the app suite built in (although it’s nothing to write home about). But we’ve heard rumors about Microsoft working on an MS Office app for iOS and Android devices, and it seems like the iOS version is much closer to launch now. The leak comes from Microsoft’s French Support site, where mentions of Excel for iPad, Office Mobile for iPhone and PowerPoint for iPad are made. It is believed that this free app will only allow users to view documents and in order to edit documents, a monthly subscription of Office 365 would be needed, which goes very well with earlier reports.
This merely reiterates that an Office Suite for iOS is pretty much on the cards, and doesn’t really give us clarity on the exact launch date. The French Microsoft support site had some significant differences when compared to the U.S version. This is where the secret mentions of Office Mobile for iPhone and others related to iOS were made. Rumors have suggested that Office for iOS would break cover early next year. Now there’s no way to know if it’s exactly accurate, but looking at the turn of events, it seems like Microsoft is contemplating a launch very soon. And Microsoft would want to hurry up with the roll out of Office for mobile platforms as Google has set its feet in the productivity apps department with its bundle of apps.
It was expected that Microsoft would launch the app simultaneously for Android and iOS. But it seems like iOS users will be able to taste Office Mobile first. While it may not provide the functionality of Office for Windows Phone or Office for Windows/Mac computers, it will certainly be a welcome addition. Moreover, Microsoft already has a tablet version of MS Office in the form of Office 2013 Preview on Windows RT. This is a fully functional version of Office and Microsoft would want to keep it that way. Not to say that Microsoft would make the iOS or Android versions sub-par, but it would want to make the version on Windows devices stand out from the rest. Plus Surface uses will be able to use these services for free while iOS/Android users would need a paid subscription of Office 365. So it seems like Microsoft has figured out how to go about the roll out. Let’s hope we get to see Office for Android and iOS soon. Paid or not, MS Office will always fetch a lot of users for Microsoft, that’s a given.