Microsoft seems determined to conquer the tablet market one way or the other, and pushing its Office suite to this area might be one of the means it plans on using to do so.
After bringing Office to mobile phones courtesy of deep integration with its Windows Phone platform, the company will have the suite loaded on tablets running under Windows 8.
Of course, analysts are rather skeptical when it comes to the success of Windows 8 in the tablet area, since it is expected to make an appearance there only sometime in 2013.
However, before that, we might see Microsoft tapping into the tablet segment with the release of an Office business app on Apple’s iPad, some of the latest reports on the matter suggest.
In a recent article, The Daily claims that sources familiar with the matter pointed at the upcoming availability of the software to the iPad, claiming that it might not be too long before that happens.
Microsoft is said to be hard at work on adapting the application to fit the Apple tablet PC, while also working on delivering a new version of the suite to other Apple products.
Considering the fact that Apple’s iPad accounts for the largest part of the tablet market (over 80 percent, apparently), it does make sense for Microsoft to aim at making this move.
What the iPad application will be all about, it remains to be seen, though we should not be surprised if it resembled the Office on Windows Phone to a certain level, and if it included Office 365 integration as well.
Rumor has it that it would not be a stand-alone application per se, but that it would heavily rely on Microsoft’s cloud services. This means that it might also come with a very low price tag, and that it could make it into Apple’s App Store.
The release of an iPad flavor of Office will offer Microsoft the base for bringing the app to more devices, running under iOS, Android, or Windows.
Next year, Microsoft should launch the next version of its productivity suite, namely Office 15, with increased support for Windows 8, translated, among others, into a new touch interface, better fitted for tablets, that’s for sure.
Office is one of the bestselling applications that Microsoft offers at the moment, and it would certainly become more popular if available on additional devices and platforms; yet, we should wait for an official confirmation on this before starting the party.