Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft has mistakenly confirmed plans to roll out a mobile version of its Office productivity suite for Apple’s iOS platforms, including iPhone and iPad.The leak reportedly occurred via Microsoft’s Support site in Romania, but all that remains on the web is a bunch of screenshots that attest the discovery – the site itself has been updated and cleansed of any Office references regarding iOS.
Technically, this is the first real confirmation coming from Microsoft that Office is coming to the iPhone and iPad. Screenshots depicting the productivity suite have been around for a while, but the Redmond company has been mum on the project.
The leak should also act as confirmation that Microsoft has ordered its backend developers to prepare the necessary references for user documentation. In other words, expect the software to arrive relatively soon.
Apple sells its iWork productivity apps as separate titles on the iOS and Mac App Stores. Should Microsoft follow suit you’ll be able to download Word, Excel and PowerPoint individually on your iPhone and / or iPad in the near future.
It is worth mentioning that The Verge in November cited knowledgeable sources as saying that “[Microsoft] will release Office versions for Android and iOS in early 2013.”
The same people told the publication that Microsoft would debut the suite as separate free apps that allow basic viewing of Office documents on iOS.
To gain extra functionality for – editing, saving and sharing – users would be required to make an in-app purchase, the sources reportedly said. Users will need an account with Microsoft as well as an Office 365 subscription.
In related news, Apple has recently updated its own Pages, Keynote and Numbers adding new functionality and fixing bugs, both on the desktop, and on mobile (iOS) devices.