A mobile version of Microsoft Office for the iPad has been long talked about, and it looks like the Redmond-based company may be planning to launch the iOS version of its Office productivity software on the same day that Apple unveils the iPad, according to 9to5 Mac.
Buzz about Microsoft Office for the iPad began earlier this week, when the Daily announced that such an app would be submitted to Apple for approval in the coming days, and released within a few weeks.
The Daily released a photo showing an iPad running MS Office, and claimed to have had a hands-on with a working prototype of the software. According to that test run, the upcoming app has a user interface similar to Microsoft’s OneNote, but it also shares similarities with Metro, which is the new design language that is used in Windows Phones.
Word, Excel, and PowerPoint were included in the suite, and files could be created and edited both locally and online.
Shortly after The Daily released its information, Microsoft issued this statement: The Daily story is based on inaccurate rumors and speculation. We have no further comment.” The company also denied that the screenshot of an Office product on the iPad was not Microsoft’s software at all.
The Daily, however, maintained that the app itself is real, undergoing internal testing, and that it was demonstrated by a Microsoft employee.
It remains unclear whether or not Microsoft does have a test version of Office for iOS, and whether or not there are actual plans to release that software. On the surface, releasing MS Office for iPad ahead of the launch of the Windows 8 tablets later this year seems like a mistake.
While the rumor of MS Office on the iPad launch day could potentially be true, it seems much more likely that Microsoft will wait until the Windows 8 tablets have launched before releasing an iPad version of its much-desired productivity software.
Of course, an earlier release could give enterprise customers a taste of the Windows tablets ahead of its launch, drumming up excitement. Enterprise software has never been one of Apple’s interests. Not to mention, money is a huge motivator, and selling Office for iPad would bring in some serious revenue. So what will Microsoft do? Sacrifice a key element of its upcoming tablets for cash now, or hold off? I guess we’ll find out in the next few weeks.