Microsoft launched Office for iPad in late March and although nobody was surprised to see a version of Redmond's flagship productivity suite aimed at Apple tablets going live this year, a few were wondering how come the company actually brought it to the market before the Windows 8 flavor.
The Softies have already confirmed that a touch-optimized version of Office is on its way right now, but no specific details as to when the launch is expected to take place are actually available.
But according to Satya Nadella, Microsoft's new CEO appointed in February to replace Steve Ballmer, Office for iPad arrived before the Windows 8 build because the company wants to make its products available everywhere and delaying this launch could have caused Microsoft to lose contacts with its rivals.
“The intent here is to make sure our services are available on all devices. There are going to be Windows devices and there are going to be other devices and we have to make sure our services run on all of them,” Satya explained yesterday at the Code Conference.
“That said, iPad has the most share. We are definitely going to have touch-first Office on Windows, and it is coming.”
As said, Microsoft has already confirmed that a touch-optimized version of Office is coming and even hinted that the Windows 8 package will come with several important improvements, some of which could clearly represent a major advantage in the fight against the iPad.
“We’ll do more things like that, that will be about different form factors and different applications,” John Case, a Microsoft Office corporate vice president for marketing, said when talking about the new-generation Office apps. “The Office suite has been very consistent. We haven’t had new apps in a long time. We’ll have some new app investments coming. New ways of creating content, new ways of storing and organizing content.”
Office for iPad is available with a freeware license, but it's only good for opening documents with Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Yet, if you are seeking editing capabilities as well, you have no other option than to purchase an Office 365 subscription and do all the work you usually do on a laptop or desktop computer right on an iPad.
Since launch, the apps included in Office for iPad recorded millions of downloads and climbed on the first position in the App Store, which is most likely living proof that Apple users are still looking for a really powerful productivity suite such as Microsoft's.