Microsoft’s former CEO Steve Ballmer himself confirmed last year that Redmond would develop iOS and Android versions of its famous Office productivity suite after the company launched a touch-optimized version of the product, but it turns out that the software giant might be having second thoughts on this.
Tami Reller, Microsoft’s marketing executive vice president, talked at the Goldman Sachs Technology & Internet Conference about the chances to see the Office productivity suite beyond Windows, but refused to provide any clear specifics on whether the software is indeed expected to launch on iOS and Android or not.
As InfoWorld reports, when asked whether new versions of Office are in the works right now, Reller responded vaguely, saying that such a decision depends on a number of factors, which means that Microsoft might still be considering plans to launch the productivity suite on other platforms.
Unsurprisingly, bringing Office on iOS and Android tablets is actually one of the things that Microsoft is pressured to do in the coming years by several shareholders who believe that the focus should no longer be on Windows, but on other enterprise-centered products.
Office, on the other hand, is also part of Microsoft’s transformation in a devices and services company, as the software giant uses the subscription-based Office 365 as a key product in this transition.
At the same time, Microsoft is also preparing a rebranding process for Office Web Apps, the free suite of tools that can be freely accessed with any browser and a Microsoft account and providing access to utilities such as Word and Excel.
Office Web Apps will soon be renamed to Office Online as part of a broader plan believed to be called Office Gemini and indeed supposed to help Microsoft concentrate more on the productivity suite and thus boost investments in this particular industry sector.