Report: Microsoft Office for iPad may be released before Windows touchscreen counterpart

According to reports, a new, touchscreen iteration of Microsoft's flagship Office productivity software may be hitting the iPad before it's touchscreen counterpart is released for Windows. 

The Office for iPad software, which is apparently codenamed 'Miramar', was first hinted at by Steve Ballmer last year - and a report by ZDNet seems to corroborate that. According to ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley, Office for iPad may be coming far sooner than expected, and may even be slated for release before a touchable version of Microsoft Office for Windows 8.

While Office for iPad was initially supposed to be released after the Windows 8 iteration, some senior Microsoft leaders had a change of heart last year. According to Foley, Ballmer OK'd the Office team's suggestion that the software be released as soon as it was ready - despite this meaning that it would hit the market before the Windows 8 version. And according to the publication's sources, Office for iPad may require a subscription to Office 365 Home Premium - which recently hit 3.5 million subscribers, and which encompasses a number of Microsoft Office applications including Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

So what's the release date for the Office for iPad software? Reports initially hinted at Fall of 2014, but according to Foley the public may see it in the first half of 2014. Since Office for iPad is in an advanced stage of development, we can look forward to a release sooner rather than later, which is good news for iPad owners.

Source: ZDNet | Image via PCWorld

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step #1 in MSFT journey to becoming yet another adobe, which is basically an app maker.

oh boy. soon that big redmond campus will go on sale.

Prequel: Microsoft has always been first and foremost a software company.

Nostalgia: MS Word (GUI Edition) and Excel were developed for the Mac long before Windows.

neonspark said,
step #1 in MSFT journey to becoming yet another adobe, which is basically an app maker.

oh boy. soon that big redmond campus will go on sale.

Adobe went on sale? You have no idea what you're talking about do you? Before the iPhone, Apple almost went under making Macs and Microsoft rescued them with money they made using Office for those Macs. If your software is worth it, there's much more money to be made from it than hardware.

I think comments alluding to "missing the boat" on the late arrival of Office are missing the point. This is not about the individual. This move for iPad is about the business community where the real money is. From my companies development experience, for the most part ,individuals using these devices expect things to be free or very low prices. This is especially a great deal more evident on Android devices then either iPad or Microsoft tablets. Yeah, I know you all are willing to spend the money but, look around that is not the case in most instances.

Look it is not that Microsoft does not value the individual user I just think they view larger fish to catch. Perhaps the small family who will now see the benefit of the purchasing 5 user subscription as it will include the iPad too. However, Microsoft is the eying a much bigger (lucrative) prize.

Businesses/organizations that is where there is a strong need to establish uniformity, platform management, and overall support control. These areas are great deal more important. Less training, less support issues, etc... This is where Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc... even with some limitations on the handheld device versions will meet this needed criteria for many businesses as Microsoft controls the office applications market for the most part at the business/organization level. Businesses are willing to pay for this user stability. Look even with the popularity of these devices many businesses have not reached any real plans on how these products are used in house or how to handle BYOD. It is still the "Wild West" in the business world. So yes, Office is late to the party but, don't the cool kids always show up a few hours late to a party to make a big entrance.

Another thing worth noting. If this rumor is true it may be smart for Microsoft to hold off on supporting Android and focus on the iPad first along with their own tablet OS, I don't know, but maybe that will squeeze pressure on Google to support Microsoft devices. Google been very stingy on supporting anything from the Microsoft portable device ecosystem. As byproduct of only two systems we may see companies/organizations congregate around the iPad and perhaps the growing MS tablet ecosystems for their portable answers rather then Google's Android. Why? They will be the only options that support the overall business standard of the MS Office ecossytem.

Edited by pjosephson, Feb 15 2014, 11:12pm :

Exactly. I don't even use a mouse or stylus with my Microsoft office on Surface RT/ Surface2, touch works fine for Excel spreadsheets and so on. Had it for 15 months already, preinstalled and no Office365 sub required.

Great news! Microsoft is making my iPads that much better. My iPads are not for productivity but an Office offering will be welcomed with open arms.

JHBrown said,
Great news! Microsoft is making my iPads that much better. My iPads are not for productivity but an Office offering will be welcomed with open arms.

Ignorance is bliss

We already have apps to write, create presentations and spreadsheets. Microsoft it's kinda late. Surely will only work similar to office 365 and only with subscription.

But it would be nice to see a full featured Word, instead of a crippled one.

mjedi7 said,
We already have apps to write, create presentations and spreadsheets. Microsoft it's kinda late.

Remember which office file formats are the de facto standard?

eddman said,

Remember which office file formats are the de facto standard?

That is rapidly changing thanks to editable PDFs. IWork can read them fairly well.

Danger I see is like ancient IE is that old proprietary versions are incompatible with each other. My resume I am told looks like crap in Word 2003. Fine on 2007 and 2010, but 2013? Who the hell knows! A PDF version solves the.

MS maybe in trouble as OpenDoc too is what the others support as well

not gonna happen

from a Microsoft job posting last month


Mobility is the future. Do you want to work on a newly formed team to define the future of Office re-imagined for mobile? Think presenting, rapid viewing, commenting and collaborating!

Having already shipped Office on Windows Phone 8 - a key milestone that highlights the importance of our “first-and-best on Windows” strategy. As MOD moves to focusing on the next Office, Office applications will need to preserve consistency in functionality as they ride across a continuum of form factors, while still differentiating themselves enough to embrace the target platform they run on.


vcfan said,
not gonna happen

Agreed. This is the internet at it's worst, repeating rumours to the point where they become "news" when, in fact, this rumour has already been discredited. Maybe it was worthy speculation on Thursday, when Tami Reller's comments could have been misinterpreted, but we already know better, the iPad version comes after the Metro version.

Enron said,
So basically on a Windows PC or tablet you get Microsoft Office and on iPad you'll get Microsoft Works.

the dos version

Makes sense. Windows (including RT) already has an outstanding version of Office available for it. No reason to hurry with a crippled, inferior "Metro" version.

Lord Method Man said,
Makes sense. Windows (including RT) already has an outstanding version of Office available for it. No reason to hurry with a crippled, inferior "Metro" version.

What makes you think it will be crippled? Have you not used the OneNote app?

Well..... one note metro apps is good for quick notes on the go. The desktop version on RT is much more complete. If OneNote for Android or Apple version is similar to the Metrofied version, then it's crippled.
Examples: In Metrofied OneNote, there's no file attachment, Audio, calculation, handwriting to text or math scientific symbol.

What is it that makes ipad and iphone users so special that even Microsoft are falling over themselves to serve them? In 10 years time when Windows is dead I wonder what the unemployed people at Microsoft will say then. Morons.

efjay said,
What is it that makes ipad and iphone users so special that even Microsoft are falling over themselves to serve them? In 10 years time when Windows is dead I wonder what the unemployed people at Microsoft will say then. Morons.

They have market share.

efjay said,
What is it that makes ipad and iphone users so special that even Microsoft are falling over themselves to serve them? In 10 years time when Windows is dead I wonder what the unemployed people at Microsoft will say then. Morons.

If you are releasing software, who do you target first? The ones who will make the most money, or your own budding market?

Android has more market share than iPhone, and yet many apps come to Apple first. Why? because developers know where the money is at. Businesses are no different. This is about profit, not choosing sides.

efjay said,
What is it that makes ipad and iphone users so special that even Microsoft are falling over themselves to serve them? In 10 years time when Windows is dead I wonder what the unemployed people at Microsoft will say then. Morons.

I can't believe this question hasn't been answered enough already.

Users of Apple devices spend on average by far the most money on apps and content in apps.

I expect that some people will get Office for their iPad but I also think that most iPad users have already found a replacement and for these people Microsoft missed a big opportunity.

Each day without Office on the iPad Office becomes less relevant.

Is Microsoft holding back or is iPad Office not ready? Either is not good.

derekaw said,
I expect that some people will get Office for their iPad but I also think that most iPad users have already found a replacement and for these people Microsoft missed a big opportunity.

Keep smoking that if you actually believe people have found a replacement.

nickcruz said,

Keep smoking that if you actually believe people have found a replacement.


You think that all these millions and millions of iPad users have not found a replacement by now? People still buy iPads even without office.

They run Apples office suite. I think it's called iwork or something. It saves PDF and OpenDoc by default. This is bad as if office formats or no longer a requirement then why pay $$$$? Office is pricy for the whole thing and many would prefer LibreOffice if it were more compatible.

If it requires an Office 365 subscription, I don't see why not. They'll make more money in the long run with the SaaS model and the Apple App Store doesn't get a dime.

"Report by who?" "Ipads r us", even zndet doesn't name these so called sources" ?

It just won't happen.

It breaks every Microsoft rule of "Windows First" and would lead to a further deterioration of Windows sales (if that's even possible!).

It would not be the first time..... Granted Office is..... Office but the team developing the iPad version is ahead of the one working on the Windows one why not having the money flowing right away?

dvb2000 said,
"Report by who?" "Ipads r us", even zndet doesn't name these so called sources" ?

It just won't happen.

It breaks every Microsoft rule of "Windows First" and would lead to a further deterioration of Windows sales (if that's even possible!).

who cares?. All of the Windows products already have Office. If u have a touchscreen u can already use your finger or stylus.

What's the big deal? If the iPad versions comes first so be it.