Thursday, May 24, 2012

Microsoft Office for iOS, Android heading for a November launch: report

Microsoft's Office for the iPad, which we've been discussing for some time as not just being in development but near App Store submission, is now said to be targeted for November. Not only that, the Office Suite will cover both iOS AND Android, the report says.

What's more, the source said the version of Office that he saw look virtually identical to the version that The Daily leaked images of, last December. It appears the iOS version will encompass the iPhone and iPod touch as well as the iPad as the splash screen says iOS and not iPad, but that's still unclear.

At the same time, it's also unclear if the Android version will support smartphones as well as Android tablets.

Among other unaddressed questions, though, is a huge one: pricing. Typically, iOS apps do not command a north-of-$100 price point. In fact, The Daily's report stated that Office for the iPad would be priced at around the same $10 price point that Apple has established for its Pages, Numbers and Keynote products.

It's not clear what Microsoft will do in terms of pricing, but certainly pricing it in the same manner as the desktop product probably won't fly on iOS. We'd even wonder, based on how hard it seems to get anyone to buy anything on Android, if Microsoft would go ad-supported on that platform (that, of course, is said seriously tongue-in-cheek).

There are, of course, many Office Suite compatible apps in both Google Play and the App Store. These are priced as you might expect mobile apps to be priced, so despite Microsoft being Microsoft, we'd expect they would have to cave to convention.

When The Daily's report came out, Microsoft strenuously denied any such product was in development. The Redmond, Wash.-based firm still has not confirmed Office for iOS or Android.

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