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Microsoft confirms Office for iPad touch-based app in development

09 Oct 2013
Microsoft Office 2013 Steve Ballmer

Microsoft’s outgoing chief executive Steve Ballmer has confirmed that the company is working on a touch-first edition of Office for the iPad.

Speaking at the Gartner Symposium conference on Tuesday Ballmer said that, although an iPhone-optimised version of Office is already available, the full iPad version will only be released once it is touch optimised.

"iPad will be picked up when there's a touch-first user interface,” he said, according to widespread reports.

The move is not a huge surprise after Microsoft finally started releasing versions of its popular software for Apple devices. It had delayed doing so but, given the huge demand for Apple products, the firm had little choice but to make them available.

So far, users have been fairly cool on the applications it has created, with the Office iPhone app receiving only a two-and-a-half star average since it was launched earlier this year.

So far it is unclear who will succeed Ballmer, although several candidates have emerged including former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, and the current CEO of Ford, Alan Mulally. However, it could be a few months before any decision is confirmed.

Ballmer's appearance at the event comes as he prepares to step down from the firm, after over a decade as the head of the company. To celebrate his tenure at Microsoft Gartner produced one its famous quadrant reports just for Ballmer.

So far it is unclear who will succeed Ballmer, although several candidates have emerged including former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, and the current CEO of Ford, Alan Mulally. However, nothing has yet been confirmed and it could be a few months before a decision is made.

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Dan Worth

Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal

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