Touch version of Office expected to arrive for Android before Windows

Since Nadella has taken over as Microsoft's CEO, he hasn't been afraid to make it known that the company wants it software on every platform and will not wait to make sure that Windows gets an early advantage. This has already played out, as Office is currently available on the iPad and according to a new report, it will also arrive on Android tablets before it hits the Surface line and other Windows tablets.

The always friendly and reliable Mary Jo Foley says that, according to her sources, the touch version of Office will arrive on Android before that of Windows.

This is where things get a bit tricky. We have been hearing for some time that the Windows version of these apps should arrive in the fall, but Foley is saying that it could now be the spring of 2015. What might be the case is that a preview hits in fall and the final release arrives in the spring. Obviously, Microsoft is not commenting about its plans for the touch-friendly version of Office but that’s the speculation at this time.

Microsoft wants to make sure that it don't lose the tight grip it already has with the productivity suite. By offering the software on all major devices, by any vendor and running on any OS, it makes it harder for the competition to step up against Office, as there are no gaps in coverage.

Up until recently, Office was not on the iPad, so third-party developers had to fill this void and could potentially start to take a bit of the market by having their own productivity software. With Office now on the iPad, developers likely face much stronger competition and have a reduced ability to expand their footprint in a Microsoft-controlled market.

This same idea currently exists with Android tablets. Office is not offered on Google's platform, so other developers have to step up (or you can use Google Docs) to fill the Microsoft gap. When Microsoft finally gets its apps onto Android tablets, competitors will find themselves in a tough spot as Microsoft easily dominates the productivity segment.

Only time will tell if this actually pans out but clearly Microsoft knows that its Office suite is a hallmark for productivity and it would rather keep Office as the cornerstone of this segment than give Windows tablets an advantage of Android devices.

Source: Mary Jo Foley

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This isn't surprising, given everything Microsoft seems to do with its mobile and desktop operating systems takes forever now. They are stuck in the dark ages of tech. They need to pull their fingers out, and get those teams pumping out updates and programs for their devices.

I think Microsoft underestimated how much people would dislike using the legacy desktop versions of Office on their windows tablets. The desktop only exists on RT because there is no Metro Office.

derekaw said,
I think Microsoft underestimated how much people would dislike using the legacy desktop versions of Office on their windows tablets. The desktop only exists on RT because there is no Metro Office.

Speak for yourself. I am of the complete opposite opinion... I'm perfectly happy that I have the full Office desktop applications on my Surface RT, and they work just like regular Office 2013. For the things I'd actually use touch for when editing documents the Office touch mode is just fine.

I honestly don't think there is nearly as big a need for these so-called "touch apps" on Windows as there is on iOS and Android, simply because the majority of windows "tablets" are really convertibles, and are not limited to just touch for input. For productivity a convertible is really the way to go over a true tablet (my opinion of course). Shucks, I've seen lots of iPAD owners using Bluetooth keyboards with them.

InfiniteLuke said,
Why don't they use the newly integrated Xamarin to write the App for all plattforms at once? :-P

I get the feeling Office integrates more deeply into the OS than what Xamarin offers for the average app.

georgevella said,
Xamarin? Integrated? WHAT?

Oh, my bad... it was Cordova in Visual Studio 2013 Update 2... But my point was universal app development.

_dandy_ said,

I get the feeling Office integrates more deeply into the OS than what Xamarin offers for the average app.

That may be the case, but they could integrate .dll files for functionality closer to the system, couldn't they? (Never worked with Xamarin or Cordova, yet)

Well, Windows 8 technically has Office already (albeit Desktop Office) which doesn't make it a huge priority. Also market trends prove that most Windows 8 users still prefer to use the desktop for Office productivity. Its not detrimental to Windows users, but for iOS and Android users who need to have compatibility and document fidelity, then its a priority to get to those platforms first especially with their large user base.

As I recall, Office is their #1 money maker, NOT Windows. So, it makes sense. Honestly, Corel had a massive opportunity to try and bring WordPerfect back into relevance, but that window is closing (if not already closed).

I'll assume that it'll be free for reading, $99/yr to create/edit for consumers, and Office 365 business users will be paying whatever they're paying. Just like the iPad and Windows.

While I'm looking forward to Metro versions of the apps, I'll continue enjoying the free versions that came on my Surface RT. And I think that's the big thing - its free and IIRC more fully featured than the paid iPad version. So its Office Online web apps < subscription iPad and Android apps < Office RT < Full Office via 365 or retail/perpetual license.

I think this is a bad idea. This might benefit them in the short term but most likely hurts them in the long term.

I think these types of moves is the real reason Windows 8/WP8 market share is so low. Why should any developer build software for their platform when they don't? It feels like they're alienating their customers by doing this.

This is also coming from a Windows developer that has a Nokia 900, 1520, 1020, Surface RT and Surface 2.

Microsoft has the best platform in my opinion. However, at times I feel like I'm being treated as second fiddle.

Microsoft has never had problems with developing for other platforms. It never targetted Windows solely. Sure it has the primary focus, but that never stopped Microsoft.

Not to hard to hire or start a developer team for the Android app which could potentially attract millions of new customers.

CJEric said,
I'm assuming Blackberry is next?

Most likely.
Then WebOS, then Tizen, Sailfish .... and maybe later, ..... err .... effing windows ????
Nobody cares about windows, not even MS !

There simply isn't to much presure for Windows, Windows RT has Office build-in, and Windows 8 users can simply find it in their store. Tablets with small screens also have Office build-in. There are already Office apps, just not for the Metro environment, but Office 2013 is also prety touch-friendly.

(just shaking my head at this)

This just makes Microsoft (and their own platform) look bad. They need to pull out all the stops and deliver a superior Office-Touch implementation on WindowsRT/8 as soon as possible now.

Microsoft has always been about eating their own dog food, but recently, stuff have been coming to the competition first, and that, quite frankly, it pretty stupid. The biggest number of customers-argument is moot IMO. They've made lot's of stuff on Android that just isn't possible on WP aswell, and that kinda pisses me off ;) Windows and IE dev are too slow still. Microsoft shines on many fronts right now, but they need to up their game just a liiitle bit more. Windows 9 better blow us away.

pantera9 said,
Microsoft has always been about eating their own dog food, but recently, stuff have been coming to the competition first, and that, quite frankly, it pretty stupid. The biggest number of customers-argument is moot IMO.

Moot? It's a business, and a successful business sells as much of its product as it can, arbitrarily restricting themselves is just silly and a good way to not make money. Besides, 1) Windows already has Office (and it even works under touch devices), and 2) Word around here is that nobody wants touch anyway, or did that suddenly change? You can't get by without it under Android. Why hogtie themselves from millions of potential additional sales?

Microsoft Office Now on touch devices, great im going to install it on my windows tablet nope sorry we don't care about our own customers you want our product don't buy windows tablet buy android or ios tablets

Thank you Microsoft for making your OS users looks like a total idiots

Umm... Office is a service. Full Office (with more features than the touch versions) is already available on Windows tablets and desktops and phones. The universal touch apps will come in fall like they said during BUILD... but why hold off on service sales just to wait for one platform to be ready? It's all about getting userbase and sales.

j2006 said,
Umm... Office is a service. Full Office (with more features than the touch versions) is already available on Windows tablets and desktops and phones. The universal touch apps will come in fall like they said during BUILD... but why hold off on service sales just to wait for one platform to be ready? It's all about getting userbase and sales.

We're not talking about full office, so its availability is irrelevant. We're talking about MS releasing a program for competitor products before releasing it for its own products.

*I like the decision now, but MS allowing it to get to this point was pure stupid.*

It's the kind of move that was likely orchestrated by a guy who paid $2 Billion for a frigging basketball team!

And this article states that the universal touch apps likely WON'T come in fall, like they said during BUILD, and will instead slide into 2015.

i think Hambone72 said more than enough, anyway i've never bought android tablets or smartphones before im buying my first android tablet.

How many people here realise that office was Microsofts first product and came out first before Windows? Windows is now (and always should of been) a vehicle for their software/services. Nadella knows Windows isn't the only player on the field anymore.

Yep. Office is a service, and a service should run on every platform, regardless which platform it comes to first. It's obviously coming around back to school time since I believe they said Fall 2014 during BUILD.

j2006 said,
Yep. Office is a service, and a service should run on every platform, regardless which platform it comes to first. It's obviously coming around back to school time since I believe they said Fall 2014 during BUILD.
exactly, its coming out regardless. And to add to your first point, office 365 totes that it can run on 5 mobile devices. Bit silly if they leave android off that list!

Silver47 said,
How many people here realise that office was Microsofts first product and came out first before Windows? Windows is now (and always should of been) a vehicle for their software/services. Nadella knows Windows isn't the only player on the field anymore.

Actually, DOS came out before Office. :) And I'm pretty sure Windows 1.0 predated Office. I think the first Office versions weren't until Windows 3.x.

Can someone with more time verify this? :)

Forjo said,

Actually, DOS came out before Office. :) And I'm pretty sure Windows 1.0 predated Office. I think the first Office versions weren't until Windows 3.x.

Can someone with more time verify this? :)


Windows 1.0 1985
Office 1 1990

Forjo said,

Actually, DOS came out before Office. :) And I'm pretty sure Windows 1.0 predated Office. I think the first Office versions weren't until Windows 3.x.

Can someone with more time verify this? :)


My bad, was thinking of word. Brain playing the word association game there :D

Goes older than that, they had a few BASIC interpreters for a couple of systems, their first OS would be Xenix (Unix), their first version of Word (under a longer name) would come out for that and DOS too before Windows.

Lord Method Man said,
There already is a full-featured, touch-friendly version of Office available for Windows, it just doesn't run as a Metro app.

This, and it already works perfectly.

Love Microsoft products but sick of more news about lagging behind competing platforms with the actual aid of Microsoft. Just LOL.

I believe having it on iPad first is OK, but on Android? Especially with the Youtube on WP issue and all.

ians18 said,
I believe having it on iPad first is OK, but on Android? Especially with the Youtube on WP issue and all.

Perhaps they are negotiating? Full support from Google for Windows Store apps in exchange for Office?

Although Google (Docs) might be happier if Office stays away.

rfirth said,

Perhaps they are negotiating? Full support from Google for Windows Store apps in exchange for Office?

Although Google (Docs) might be happier if Office stays away.

I don't think they're doing any talking. These versions will be the same as the iOS ones and also require Office 365 subscriptions to use fully. The difference with the touch Windows versions is, and this is just what I expect them to do, they'll have more features from the start and also NOT require Office 365 to run. Thus you have Office on more touch devices but still give Windows devices the advantage.

companies don't think like children, its business and its about money not ###### for tat 'I'll tell my mum if you don't play nice with youtube' nonsense.

I really believe Google are being clowns with their WP treatment, and I'm sure that folks at MS do as well, but I would hate to think of people in high up positions making decisions based on this kind of thought.

Its all about stocks and market and the bottom line is Office is the big kahoona for MS and they cant afford to let other apps creep into this mindshare.

Android accounts for a sizable chunk of tablets and phones and this is a market where office isn't available and people have to find alternatives.

What version of Windows can't run office? I get your point but office 365 already runs on all versions of windows as far as I am aware.

duddit2 said,
companies don't think like children, its business and its about money not ###### for tat 'I'll tell my mum if you don't play nice with youtube' nonsense.

I really believe Google are being clowns with their WP treatment, and I'm sure that folks at MS do as well, but I would hate to think of people in high up positions making decisions based on this kind of thought.

Its all about stocks and market and the bottom line is Office is the big kahoona for MS and they cant afford to let other apps creep into this mindshare.

Android accounts for a sizable chunk of tablets and phones and this is a market where office isn't available and people have to find alternatives.


I believe the word that was stricken from your comment was T!T. LOL.

duddit2 said,
This is about the touch based office for tablets

Sure, and most of us get that, but as MS already has a version of office that works on MS tablets, it would make sense for them to focus on the popular platforms that don't first.