In true, honest form, that is. Official clients for the cloud-powered Office 365 have recently been made available on competing mobile platforms, though Microsoft has so far reserved the real mobile versions of its popular productivity suite for its in-house platforms.
But all that is set to change soon according to CEO Steve Ballmer.
The face of Microsoft confirmed at the Gartner Symposium ITXpo in Orlando, Florida that the company is working on touch-optimized versions of its Office applications.
Once complete, the productivity suite will be launched on the iPad.
We already had some level of confirmation on this from various sources, inside and out, but now we have heard it from the main man. However, Ballmer only provided a select few details on this.
First up is the fact that that the iPad version would only arrive after the full version of Office touch goes live, on Windows 8 and Windows RT 8.1. Unless Windows 9 sees daylight before it, of course! The Microsoft CEO had this to say on this:
“iPad will be picked up when there’s a touch-first user interface. That’s in progress for Office.”
Interestingly, but not entirely unsurprisingly, Outlook it seems will not be part of the iPad release, for obvious fruity reasons — Apple probably would not allow a competing email client like Outlook on its platform, though nothing is set in stone so early into development, and can change.
The important thing is that Microsoft is working on touch-optimized versions of its Office programs, and is willing to port them to other platforms like Linux, Android and iOS.
However, sources close to the matter have hinted that this likely will not happen before 2014, but hey, good things come to those who wait, and all that stuff, eh?