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Microsoft readies Office for iPad and Android

08 Nov 2012
Microsoft Office 2013 Steve Ballmer

Microsoft is reported to be readying mobile versions of its Office applications for the iPhone, iPad and Android-based smart devices.

According to sources close to Microsoft quoted by technology site The Verge, both iOS and Android versions of Microsoft's popular Office applications are due for release early in 2013.

These versions of Office Mobile will require a Microsoft account and provide native Word, PowerPoint and Excel applications on these platforms, it is claimed.

Rumours that a version of Office for the iPad is under development have surface regularly over the years, and while offering additional support for the iPhone and burgeoning Android ecosystem, this would also highlight one of the selling points of Microsoft's newly released Surface tablets.

The Surface has garnered much praise since release, thanks in no small part to the inclusion of Microsoft Office.

However, the iOS and Android versions of the  apps will reportedly offer just basic editing facilities, with users who desire greater functionality having to fork out for an Office 365 subscription.

Earlier this year, Microsoft firmly denied one rumour that it had plans to make an iOS version of Office, following the emergence of screenshots apparently showing Office running on an iPad.

Microsoft declined V3's request for clarification regarding the latest reports, with a spokesman delivering the company's stock response of "We don't comment on rumours or speculation."

However, The Verge quotes a company representative as saying that “Office will work across Windows Phone, iOS and Android."

The news may be welcomed by IT chiefs, many of whom have staff clamouring for iPads or Android tablets, while finding many of the productivity suites available on these devices do not pass muster.

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