Several website, including The Verge, are reporting that Microsoft is about to announce Microsoft Office for iPad. While we’ve heard this before, this one feels more real than past promises and threats. I believe there has been a war raging on the inside at Microsoft between factions that wanted to keep Office on Microsoft Platforms only (to help drive sales of Microsoft platforms, like the Surface) and those others that see the iPad as a 100 million plus potential Office customers. I bet it was ugly.
Assuming they do release Office for iPad, I hope they do it right and include advanced formatting like styles and track changes. A few weeks ago I’d have said that is unlikely based on what they did on the iPhone. It seemed more likely that the resolution to the internal conflict over Office on iPad was to release it for the iPad but make it so pedestrian that Office power users are still required to go to a Microsoft platform. However, having spent a little time with OneNote for iPad, I’m hopeful. Either way, my money’s on them requiring an Office 365 subscription to get in the door.
Of course it could also be possible this is, once again, nothing but vapid rumors. If that is the case, the question becomes at what point do we stop caring if Office shows up on the iPad? I know several people that have already crossed that bridge.