The Office productivity suite is getting through a major transformation process these days, with people familiar with the matter claiming that Redmond is trying to expand the product to some new platforms, including Windows 8 touch, iOS, and Android.A new report by Computerweek Germany claims that Microsoft continues work on the new Office for Mac, but it turns out that the company is actually delaying the launch of the product for a few more months.
While it was initially believed that Office for Mac would get an important update in late 2013 or early 2014, the report claims that Microsoft is planning to release the new productivity suite for Apple computers later this year, pretty much because of the merger that took place between the Macintosh Business Unit and the Microsoft Business Unit in 2011.
Thorsten Hübschen, the business group lead for Microsoft Office in Germany, explained that a new version of Office for Mac should be here in the second quarter of 2014, but he refused to provide any specifics on the product.
Microsoft Office is becoming a much more important product for the software giant these days, especially as it continues the transition to a devices and services approach supposed to put the focus on more products beside Windows.
Microsoft shareholders have pushed the company to concentrate more on cloud services and the Office productivity suite, so non-Windows versions are also expected to launch soon.
Office for iPad is reportedly in the works as we speak, while a touch-based version of the productivity software that would be specifically addressed to Windows 8 users relying on the Modern environment is very likely to follow soon.
Office for iPad is internally codenamed Miramar and would come with a touch-optimized interface specifically aimed at tablets running Apple’s iOS. As far as the release date is concerned, people familiar with the development plans said that the new version is very likely to be released in the second half of 2014.
Previous reports pointing to a broader, so-called Office Gemini plan indicated that Microsoft is working to bring Office on non-Windows platforms especially because it wants to capitalize on the popularity of its software, as competition from free productivity suite is increasing these days.
Governments and authorities across the world are abandoning Microsoft Office in the favor of free suites such as LibreOffice and OpenOffice, both of which are said to be providing similar functionality at a much more affordable price.