We’ve been hearing tell that Microsoft will release a version of Office for iPad “soon” since at least February 2012, but instead of a native version, the only thing Microsoft has released so far is Office 365, a cloud-based version of the Office suite that works on mobile devices.
According to some well-connected insiders, though, the wait is almost over, and Microsoft could launch Microsoft Office for iPad in the next three months.
According to ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley, a go-to repository for information about Microsoft, there’s been a change of heart in Redmond about whether to release one of their most important properties for iPad:
I hear Ballmer and the senior leaders of the company may have had a change of heart towards the end of last year. According to one of my contacts, Ballmer OK’d the suggestion by the Office team that they’d bring Office for iPad to market as soon as it was ready, even though that would likely mean before the Windows 8 version. I’m hearing that new date for Office for iPad is some time in the first half of calendar 2014. (My sources last summer were hearing Office for iPad wouldn’t debut until Fall 2014.)
In other words, Microsoft Office could come to the iPad before it comes as a native, tablet-friendly version to Microsoft’s own operating system. Yikes. If that’s not an admission that Windows 8 is a failure, I don’t know what is.