Microsoft announced that Office would launch on non-Windows devices sometime in the near future, but the company has refused to comment on the project lately and even offered some hints that it might be having second thoughts on plans to bring its productivity suite on other platforms.
Now Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley is reporting, via unnamed sources, that Microsoft is still working on Office for iPad and even offered a codename for the project: Miramar.
What’s more, the report states that Microsoft has changed its mind lately and the company could bring the new Office for iPad to the market a lot sooner, despite what former CEO Steve Ballmer said last year.
Ballmer revealed in September 2013 that Redmond is indeed planning to expand the availability of Office on some new platforms, including iOS and Android, but only after the company debuts the touch-based version of the app that’s specifically optimized for Windows 8.
Foley writes that Microsoft has since changed the plans and is now willing to bring Office for iPads to the market a lot sooner, even though the Windows 8 version isn’t yet ready.
The launch could take place sometime in the first half of this year, while Office Gemini, the alleged version of the productivity suite created for Windows 8 devices, could debut in the next 12 months or so.
At this point, there are no details as to how Microsoft is planning to make Office available to iPad users, but Redmond could be pondering a subscription-based system similar to the one of Office 365. Files could be automatically stored on OneDrive, so using Office on an iPad would require a Microsoft account.
There are no details regarding the Android version of Office, but it appears that the launch of this particular version of the productivity suite is also nearing.