Despite the unsuccessful launch of Windows 8, Microsoft still knows how to make some really great productivity software. Microsoft Office is one of the most popular suite of apps on the planet, and it could make over $2.5 billion per year if Microsoft ported it to iOS.
There have been a number of rumors that Office for iOS is coming really soon, but nothing’s happened yet. A new rumor claims that there’s still a lot of waiting to do, as Microsoft doesn’t plan to bring Office to iOS until Fall 2014.
After seeing Microsoft’s product roadmap, ZDNet’s Mary Foley claims that sources have informed to her that Microsoft’s current roadmap doesn’t account for an Office for iOS launch until late in 2014.
“Also on the roadmap for fall 2014 is what’s listed as iOS/Android support for Office. One would assume this is the expected and widely rumored Office for iPad release. It could, however, be Office for iPhone and Android phone, given that it’s not listed on the roadmap as being tablet-specific.”
While Microsoft has never confirmed or denied Office is coming to the iPad, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer did hint that it would make sense for Microsoft to push its productivity apps to iOS as well. It’s also speculated that Microsoft might just bring Office to iOS and Android via Office 365 subscriptions.
The big question remaining is whether iOS users will want or need Office when it’s released in 2014. Microsoft’s hesitancy to embrace the platform has opened the door for other developers to make competing apps that are nearly as functional for a fraction of the cost. Rather than focusing on software for its failed Windows RT tablet, it’d probably be a better idea for Microsoft to get in on iOS and Android before it gets left behind.