We have known for some time that Microsoft is working on building Office support for the iOS platform. We have heard that Office will arrive on iOS in early 2013 and today we are now seeing even more evidence that Microsoft is hard at work on bringing the platform to Apple’s mobile ecosystem.
Spotted by Mac4Ever, references to the mobile Office platform for iOS have been spotted in Microsoft material on the company’s support site. The references include Office for iPhone and Excel/PowerPoint for the iPad.
While we are not any closer to knowing the release date for the platform, seeing that the support references are starting to creep into Microsoft documentation, it would look like we are quickly approaching the launch Window.
For Microsoft, the Office platform is the ace in the sleeve for the company as it is widely considered to be the king of productivity applications. Microsoft is currently using Office as bait with the new Windows RT based Surface tablet by bundling the application with the device.
We will be curious to see what functionality is included with the iOS versions of Office as we expect it will be neutered in some way to promote their Surface as the superior product.
One of the big questions we are wanting answered is if the iOS version of Office will be touch optimized.
If Microsoft delivers a finger friendly version of Office to iPad users before that of Surface users, it will be interesting to see how the community reacts as Microsoft would have given preference to the iPad instead of the Surface for mobile Office.