Redmond has already announced its plans to bring its Office suite of productivity applications on platforms beyond Windows. And this means the company is currently working on touch enabled versions of Office.
Microsoft has, however, refused to provide specific details on this project.
But Mary Jo Foley is reporting that the codename Gemini project includes touch versions of Office, and things are moving slowly because of new product strategies and internal politics over at Redmond.
Having said that, as Microsoft wants to bring Office to its Modern UI on Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, the company needs to rebuild the touch versions of Office from scratch — a process that demands a lot more work on optimization.
Additionally, while it seems that users will not be getting the same feature rich package that they get on the desktop version of Office, but all essential tools will be there, nevertheless.
And that’s not all — the company also has to redesign the ribbon model so that it can be used on devices with a number of form factors. All form factors, as a matter of pure fact, from desktop computers, laptops and tablets to smartphones.
Bring in the fact that Microsoft is also developing native iOS and Android versions of the productivity suite, and it becomes clear that there is far too much work to be done.
Still, the product is expected to be released sometime next year, though Microsoft has not provided any concrete details on when it will be ready.