The only thing that remains is the final approval from recently crowned CEO Satya Nadella. Redmond has long been rumored to be developing a touch-optimized flavor of its leading Office productivity suite.
These versions are expected to launch not just on Windows powered tablets, but devices like the iPad, the iPhone and the myriad of Android slates. Company official have dropped various hints on the matter these past few months, suggesting that development is underway.
And now according to this report from Reuters, the bulk of the development work (at least for the iOS platform) is now complete, with the project awaiting the final green light to go live.
If this latest gossip is true, then it shows that Microsoft sees Apple platforms as the most appealing of markets, ahead of Windows 8 and surely Android. Interest on the iPad really must be high.
But perhaps the most vital element here is the sustained competition from the various alternatives that are available for competing mobile platforms — most of these productivity suites are offered free of charge to users.
Then again, one of the future strategies that ValueAct Capital outlined last year was enhanced emphasis on cloud and expanding the availability of the Office suite of productivity apps to other platforms.
Besides, if an iPad version is ready to go live, a true Metro flavor might not be too far behind.