There has been a slow but steady stream of leaks and rumors regarding an official Microsoft Office app for the two most popular mobile platforms out there, iOS and Android. In typical corporate style, Microsoft has been very coy about their plans for Office on iOS and Android, never really letting us know what is going on. Today more evidence has leaked pointing to official Office on iPhone, iPad, and Android.
Through “several sources”, The Verge has learned that Microsoft plans on releasing an official Office app for iOS in late Feburary or early March 2013 while the Android version is due in May 2013. Office on both platforms will be free and allow for the viewing of Word, PowerPoint, and Excel documents; however, you will be required to have a (free) Microsoft account to use the app. Anyone that wants the ability to edit the documents will have to purchase a Office 365 subscription, which has a reoccurring monthly or yearly fee. The Verge even got hold of a screenshot of the alleged app (you can see the screenshot above).
It should be noted that Microsoft officially denied an earlier leak that said Office for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone will come out in March 2013. Either Microsoft flat out lied in their earlier denial (which I wouldn’t put past any multi-billion dollar company) or they were coy in their denial — the apps won’t come out in March 2013 but that doesn’t mean they won’t come out at all.
When asked for an official statement on this new development, Microsoft did not confirm or deny the details, only caring to say:
Office will work across Windows Phone, iOS and Android.
Some people are speculating that Microsoft has took so long to release an official Office app for iOS and Android because it wanted to wait until it pushed out its Windows RT Surface tablet, which comes with Office. Now that the tablet has been released, I don’t see why Microsoft should delay any longer. After all, other office suite apps on iOS and Android already have a long head start.
[via The Verge]