Steve Ballmer Confirms Office Will Come To iPad When It’s Ready For The Touchscreen

officeforipad

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has confirmed that Microsoft Office will come to the iPad just as soon as it’s ready for devices with a touchscreen. Speaking at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Florida today, Ballmer said, “iPad will be picked up when there’s a touch first user interface.”

That user interface is “in progress” Ballmer added, but it’s likely to come to the Windows version of Office first.

Microsoft brought Office Mobile to the iPhone back in June, and we’ve been waiting for an iPad version ever since. After all, users are much more likely to work on Office documents on the iPad’s larger display than they are on the pocket-size iPhone. But Microsoft expected us to use its Office web apps inside the iPad’s browser instead.

Now it appears the software giant has accepted the iPad needs its own Office app, but that won’t come until the right interface is ready. And as you might expect, that interface will make its debut on Microsoft’s own Windows-powered Surface tablet before it is launched on a competing device.

Microsoft showed off a special “Metro-style” version of PowerPoint earlier this year at the company’s Build developer conference, The Verge reports. But it did not commit to a release date.

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  • MrBilly

    When it’s ready for the touchscreen. Translation: No time soon

  • OS2toMAC

    Wait. I thought the big “selling point” of the Surface was that it came with MS Office. If MS Office can’t work with touch, how do you use it on a Surface?

  • techwarrior

    Turn it over to the Office for Mac team, they have traditionally been the innovators at MS. They will have a touch enabled Office suite in no time, then it can be held from the market until the Surface team can adopt it to work on their own HW.

    Interesting how Google often releases stuff on iOS before or concurrent with Android…maybe MS could learn something…then again, maybe not.

  • lwdesign1

    Yet another example of Microsoft doing what it does best, being out of touch. With Microsoft’s public image taking a beating, you’d think they’d be Johnny on the spot with this whole “touch interface” thing — especially because they’ve developed their own touch-based Surface tablet device. Microsoft has VAST resources, and I’d have thought they’d be feverishly working on porting Office to the Surface and iPad because of the incredibly huge adoption rates of the iPad and copycat tablets running Android. They already know that Office is used by nearly everyone on both Mac and Windows platforms, so why would they neglect to be working on it for touch interfaces? Boggles the mind. I guess they really are out of “touch” on Office (pun intended).

  • Junaidkureshi

    this is going to be the only thing which will make me love MS since decade.

About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a freelance writer based in the UK. He has an interest in all things tech, but most enjoys covering Apple, anything mobile, and gaming. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell, or through his website.

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