Office for iPad may (finally) arrive as soon as March 27

Microsoft Office logoIt's been a big month for Apple-loving Microsoft Office users. Earlier today, Microsoft released a version of the OneNote client for OS X, and some rumors say an entirely new version of the Office for Mac suite will arrive later this year. Now, ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley reports that Microsoft will announce the long-awaited Office for iPad on March 27 at an event in San Francisco. The new release would follow Office for iPhone and Office for Android, both of which were launched back in June of 2013 (as well as, of course, the built-in version of Office Microsoft ships on Windows phones).

Like the other mobile versions of Office, the iPad edition is expected to include only Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote, the latter of which is already available as a separate application. The applications will require an Office 365 subscription to work, and Foley expects the recently introduced Office 365 "personal" subscription level to include a single license for the tablet version of the software along with one PC or Mac license and an indeterminate number of phone licenses. An iPad version of Office may be a precursor to a touch-optimized release of the software for Windows—current Windows 8.1 and Windows RT tablets ship with a desktop version of Office designed primarily for use with a mouse and keyboard.

The timing for the announcement is a bit odd, since March 27 is just a few days before Microsoft's Build developer conference begins on April 2. Microsoft is reportedly planning to make several major announcements at Build this year, including preliminary information on the next version of Windows and more about the upcoming Windows Phone 8.1. The new Office for iPad software would face competition primarily from Apple's own Pages, Numbers, and Keynote productivity applications, which work without a paid subscription and come free with the purchase of any new iOS device.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: iPad, Microsoft, Microsoft Office

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