Office for the iPad? Maybe. Hopefully.

By  |  Thursday, February 11, 2010 at 12:07 pm

Gadget site T3 is reporting that Microsoft has dropped a “hint” that it may be working on a version of Office for the iPad. I hope so–it could be both cool and useful. But the evidence that it’s doing so is paper-thin so far. (I’ve probably asked Microsoft staffers about things they might be working on hundreds of times over the years, and they only rarely say “no comment” or issue a flat denial–their tendency is say that ideas of all sorts sound “interesting.”)

Last April, someone asked a Microsoft exec about Office for the iPhone, and some took his response (“Not yet–keep watching”) as evidence that such a suite was in the works. The only Office/iPhone news since then has been the fact that Office 2010’s Web features will include some basic tools designed to let people view documents on smartphones. Maybe the exec was talking about that. Or maybe Microsoft is working on an iPhone edition of Office. Or maybe he just meant what he said.

Of course, almost thirty years ago Microsoft did become a rabid fan of a new Apple platform, and released a bunch of applications for it. Its enthusiasm seems to have paid off for everybody involved that time around…


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8 Comments For This Post

  1. Backlin Says:

    Good thing the iWork Suite will be apps in the App Store, otherwise Apple would scream, “Duplicate Functionality!”

  2. Erik Says:


    I cringe at the thought of MS Office, an incredibly bloated heap of software, being somehow slimmed down for iPad use. It’s not by accident that Apple showed off iWork on the iPad – my take is that this was a direct shot across Microsoft’s bow. The message is: The old era of bloated operating systems and bloated office suites is coming to an end.

    Think about the fundamentally basic functions word processing, spreadsheets, and presentation software fulfill, and what MS Office has become. If there ever was a chunk of software ripe for disruption, MS Office is it.

  3. Tom B Says:

    I have a Ph.D.; I’ve used Office for decades; and it still drives me to violence now and then. A lot of the problems involve the software thinking it is smarter than you are and making really bad choices. Kind of like–well–Microsoft. Or Enterprise IT.

  4. Geek Says:

    Micrrosoft financially bailed out Apple and ported software to avoid an anti- trust charge.

    The closed system approach by apple of software + hardware works great but was not enough to give it reasonable market share, Office and other MS products on Apple was a big shot in the Arm. Before some hold Apple up as a huge innovator it needs to be reminded of the realities a trivial player in the PC market that sells its product at a huge premium and makes big $$. I-Pods, I-Phone superior products but recognize the reality that if Microsoft leave Apple to its own devices without software applications, Apple would cry like a baby and go to court.

  5. Godina Says:

    Funny feeling that MS and Apple might join forces to battle Google. Either way, more companies gives us more choices for technology and a better price. MS is making their products more affordable than before. Lots of people were surprised on the price of the iPad being around $500. Google online products are free for the most part, but I also have a funny feeling that they’ll get you hooked and then change you. Hopefully google won’t make the same mistake that MS made in the 90s.

  6. DYI Says:

    I think it may be a bad move from Microsoft, since it’s opening the market of iPad, which is maninly residential users, to the professional side!
    That would empower iPad with tools to become more competitor with Netbooks with windows 7.

  7. StevenKJames Says:

    I am both an avid programmer of Window7 and of Mac products. I believe Microsoft is still a software company first! Therefore they must consider making an iPad versions of any of their software. They should not be judgemental of others operating systems. Nor should they promote a specific OS. Maybe its time to seperate the company into two OS and Software? What do you think?

  8. tom b Says:

    “That would empower iPad with tools to become more competitor with Netbooks with windows 7.”

    It is a strong indicator that MSFT understands these babies will be big sellers, to be sure, even if they do “bash” the ipad in public.