Is Microsoft Office coming to your iPad or not?

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By Staff /  22 Feb 2012 , 17:26

Microsoft has been top of the tech news this last week with the Google-IE tracking saga. Now the software giant is in the middle of another controversy over a story that is buzzing online, which states that the Microsoft Office App for iPad will be avaiable within the next few weeks. The story which was broken by The Daily, states “The app’s user interface is similar to the current OneNote app, but it has hints of Metro, the new design language that can be seen in Windows Phone and in the as-yet-released Windows 8 desktop operating system. Word, Excel and PowerPoint files can be created and edited locally and online. But it’s unclear if Microsoft will support other Office apps at launch or at all.”

Microsoft has responded to these rumours on Twitter. The company’s official account, Microsoft News @MSFTnewsstated the following:

Representational Image of iPad 2 AFP

Great respect for The Daily but regrettably someone is giving them bad info, and that’ll be clear in the “coming weeks.”

Microsoft’s response has not marked the end of speculations with tech blogs buzzing about who’s right and what ‘coming weeks’ means. TheNextWeb’s Alex Wilhelm feels, “Microsoft nearly never comments on rumors or speculation. It’s their mantra. That they have been so vocal on this issue is more than simply interesting, it’s downright suspicious. Something is afoot.”

The Daily story also carried images of an iPad with the Microsoft office app, which it has insisted are not fake. Peter Ha from The Daily said ina tweet, “We’ve been chasing this story down for weeks. We did not fabricate the image and Microsoft isn’t denying the existence of Office for iPad. All this fuss over a photo is nonsense. The story is real.”

Predictably a tweet-fight has unleashed between The Daily and Microsoft which is keeping everyone busy today. Business Insider has an interesting take on this:

“In fact, we suspect that Microsoft hasn’t decided what to do. It might end up releasing something that looks like this soon, just as The Daily reported. Or it could build its own version that looks different. Or it might wait until after Windows 8 tablets are on the market for a while to see if the inclusion of Office is a good selling point.”

The confusion aside it can’t be denied that Office on the iPad would actually make lives easier for a lot of people. The deal with text editing software is that it’s success depends primarily on how familiar the user is with the software. Most people are not comfortable making the switch from Microsoft Office to cloud sourced editing suites like say Google docs. Ms Office has the advantage that most users stick to this on their laptops, so an app on the iPad will make transferring and storing presentations and documents on one device much simpler.

Is Microsoft aware that it’s still the king when it comes text-editing software? It is and an iPad app will only strengthen Microsoft’s position in this domain.

Bonus: Watch video Microsoft’s take on Google docs.


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