Leaked roadmap reveals Office for iOS delayed until 2014

Microsoft Office logoOffice for iOS, a product that hasn't been formally announced and hasn't even been officially confirmed to exist, has been delayed and won't launch until the autumn of 2014, according to a leaked roadmap seen by ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley. The same is true of its alleged Android equivalent.

Office for iOS almost certainly exists. There are, however, big questions about what it will actually be and how it will be priced.

Microsoft is trying to shift Office users over to subscription plans. Having Office for iOS depend on a subscription plan would be logical given this broader trend, but Microsoft has so far proven unwilling to give Apple the 30 percent cut that's demanded for in-app purchasing and subscribing.

Squabbles over this cut are believed to have delayed the recent update to the SkyDrive iOS client: Microsoft wanted to offer storage upgrades but didn't want to fork over the 30 percent. The update that was finally delivered contains no mechanism for buying more storage. Problem "solved."

Microsoft's apparent unwillingness to comply with Apple's policy would similarly preclude, say, an Office for iOS that was read-only but allowed an in-app subscription to Office 365 to unlock write capabilities.

Office for Android avoids these problems but has another problem to contend with: many developers have noted that Android software yields less revenue than iOS equivalents and that Android users as an aggregate are less willing to use paid apps.

Whatever the reason for the delays, a roadmap that puts Office for iOS another 18 months away is surprising, for one simple reason: who's going to care? People wanting Office-like functionality on their iDevices already have options today, both from Apple and others. Microsoft's own products might offer some marginal superiority in compatibility or integration, but fundamentally, if reading and modifying Office documents is something you want to do, you can do it today.

Source: AppleInsider

Tags: iOS, Microsoft, Microsoft Office

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