Microsoft Office For The iPad To Arrive Perhaps Even Before The Windows Tablet Version

Microsoft has taken its time creating touch-optimized versions of Microsoft Office for iPads, Android tablets, and even its own Windows tablets, but the wait may nearly be over--for iPad users.

Originally, the Windows tablet version was scheduled to debut before the iPad version, for obvious reasons, but ZDNET’s Mary Jo Foley believes that the opposite will be true. “But I hear Ballmer and the senior leaders of the company may have had a change of heart towards the end of last year,” she wrote. “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.”

Microsoft Office Mobile for iPhone
Microsoft Office Mobile for iPhone

Ironically, releasing the iPad version first also makes a lot of sense. The iPad is massively popular, even in the enterprise, and Microsoft’s tablet market share is tiny by comparison, and Microsoft can make a lot of cash by making Office for iPad available to all those users.

Foley thinks that, in any case, Office for iPad--which should debut sometime in the first half of this year--will require an Office 365 subscription, just as the current iOS and Android Office Mobile apps do.