The latest reports peg Microsoft’s rumored iPad version of its popular Office suite as coming this fall to Apple’s tablet.
Boy Genius Report has the story, which cites an unnamed but trusted source who says that Microsoft is developing the Office app not only for the iPad, but also for Android devices as well. The source also suggests a November launch date, which is a new bit of information from the last time we heard about the iPad Office app back in February. The report points out that the app is called “Office for iOS,” rather than Office for iPad, suggesting an iPhone version might crop up, too.
According to BGR, the source has even seen the iPad version of MS Office running first-hand, and reports that it looks identical to the leak we saw from The Daily a few months back. At the time, Microsoft denied that the app was authentic, but if this latest rumor proves true, it seems that denial might have been more for show than anything else.
We’d heard earlier that an Android version of MS Office wasn’t in the works, but that’s no longer the case according to the latest rumors. That’s actually a good thing, because the biggest benefit of Office hitting the iPad will be the compatibility of documents between devices. Microsoft Office and its various parts – MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint and so on – are in use all over the world and in tons of traditional computers. Having those same programs on the iPad is going to make working on them remotely a lot easier for many people, and being able to send documents between computers, iPads and Android tabs will help to keep MS Office useful for business people, who are among the most likely to need to use it anyway.
The downside for Apple, of course, is that it’ll lose the competitive advantage it was going to gain back when it seemed Android wouldn’t be getting a tablet version of Office. Even so, the iPad and its users will benefit greatly from the functionality Office can offer, especially in making the iPad more and more useful as a content creation device, rather than simply a content consumption device.
Hopefully Microsoft will soon start to spill on the actual features that MS Office will include and put the rumors to bed. Until then, we only know that at least two people have seen the supposed app in action, and we can hope that it’s real.