Every few months rumors surface claiming Microsoft is working on iOS and Android apps for its Office suite of products, followed by nothing happening. It appears we’re in the same position again today, with talk Wednesday morning of an Office app for the iPad and other mobile devices apparently quashed in the afternoon by the computer giant.
Oddly though, this time the initial claim came from a named Microsoft executive in the Czech Republic rather than the usual source “with knowledge of the issue who preferred not to be named.”
According to ZDNet, Microsoft product manager Petr Bobek “let slip” to the Czech-based tech news site IHNED that the Redmond-based company was preparing to launch iOS and Android apps for Office 2013 around the middle of next year.
The information from Bobek appeared to be rather detailed, with the Microsoft Office portfolio manager claiming the software, comprising Word, Excel and PowerPoint, would be available to large companies, as well as Microsoft partners, at the end of this year, while smaller firms and home users would have to wait until 2013.
But a few hours later Frank X. Shaw, Microsoft’s head of corporate communications, came along and appeared to indicatethat nothing of the sort is happening. “The information shared by our Czech Republic subsidiary is not accurate. We have nothing further to share,” Shaw tweeted. Of course, you can read Shaw’s tweet in two ways – you might interpret it to mean the release dates mentioned by Bobek are not accurate, or you could read it as an outright denial that Microsoft has any plans to release Office for iOS and Android. Either way, it doesn’t look like an Office app will be appearing any time soon.
Are you keen to see a Microsoft Office app for your iOS or Android tablet? Or have you found a decent alternative instead? For more on the matter, check out Geoff Duncan’s in-depth article here looking at the arguments for and against the computer giant making an Office app for iOS and Android devices.