iPads are more than just toys and soon you’ll be able to get even more real work done on them when Microsoft finally pushes its iOS version of Office out to Apple’s popular tablet. ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley reports that Microsoft is still hard at work on its iPad version of Office and will launch it “sooner than most think.” And here’s the kicker: Foley thinks that the newly revamped touch-optimized version of Office could arrive on the iPad before it comes to Windows-based tablets.
“Last we heard, it sounded from ex-CEO Steve Ballmer that [the iPad version of Office] was going to arrive some time after Microsoft’s own touch-first, ‘Gemini’ implementation of Office,” Foley writes. “But I hear Ballmer and the senior leaders of the company may have had a change of heart towards the end of last year. According to one of my contacts, Ballmer OK’d the suggestion by the Office team that they’d bring Office for iPad to market as soon as it was ready, even though that would likely mean before the Windows 8 version. I’m hearing that new date for Office for iPad is some time in the first half of calendar 2014.”
Getting Office onto the iPad and Android-based tablets is an important goal for Microsoft, which wants to make sure its top-notch productivity software gets onto as many different devices as possible. It makes sense in particular for Microsoft to get Office onto the iPad first since it’s become the tablet of choice for many businesses.