Rumors have abounded for some time that Microsoft would be adding a version of their ever-popular Microsoft Office product to the Android tablets and the iPad with Office 2013. The Microsoft Office portfolio manager in the Czech Republic was quoted as stating that it would be released early next year.
Microsoft has admitted to designing their Office Mobile to work with all phones and operating systems. They have stopped short of providing a date for a release or further information about where it will be released.
A Major Departure for Microsoft
The idea that Microsoft would provide access to one of the most popular products to non-Microsoft hardware users is surprising, especially since they have just entered the mobile market themselves with the Windows phone and Surface tablet. The CEO of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer, has said that the company will be focusing on devices and services instead of software licenses. One of the questions people are asking is if it’s a little late to be entering an arena that Apple and Google are already dominating.
Since Microsoft is just getting involved in mobile products, one has to wonder if it would do better to entice buyers to its Windows phone and Surface tablet with the promise of Office Mobile. Lock it in only for those who buy Microsoft devices. But it doesn’t sound like that is the plan.
Predictions from experts say that Microsoft Office won’t be that big of a deal since Google Docs has been a staple, especially since early indications suggest that it will lack the ability of being touch-receptive. However, Microsoft Office has always been a favorite with businesses. This new offering would appeal to those who want the convenience of taking their work with them, regardless of what device they are using. Imagine how easy it would be to open a file and make changes right where they are instead of waiting until they have their laptop or are back in the office.
So, while experts have their opinions on both sides of the story, it will come down to the users and what they have to say – with their money.