When Microsoft announced that it would be launching its own line of tablets, our hopes of ever getting a mobile version of the Office line of apps was all but dashed. Why would Microsoft offer the much sought-after application for iOS when it can have exclusive rights to Surface customers instead?
Even though it seemed like a pipe dream two months ago, we’ve been receiving a steady stream of rumors that Microsoft is still planning on releasing Office for iOS in the near future. The company’s product manager Petr Bobek recently announced the official March launch of MS Office for iOS and Android at a media event in the Czech Republic turning our dreams back into possibilities.
Today, The Verge is reporting that Microsoft plans to release Office for Android and iOS in “early 2013,” which coincides with Bobek’s announcement. According to The Verge, Office Mobile will be free to download, but will require a Microsoft account. Users will be able to register an account and purchase an “Office 365” subscription.
When it is first released to the public, the app will provide users access to basic viewing functions. Word, PowerPoint, and Excel documents will be viewable with a basic Microsoft account, while files will be editable with the Office 365 subscription. According to unnamed sources who spoke with The Verge, the apps will allow for basic editing, but “this won’t go very far in attempting to replace regular full use of a desktop Office version.”