Microsoft Sends Mixed Signals About Office on Android, iOS
Microsoft on Oct. 10 denied a report from one of its product managers in the Czech Republic that its Office suite of productivity applications would be available on Google Android and Apple iOS devices as soon as March 2013.“The information shared by our Czech subsidiary is not accurate. We do not have anything further to share at this time,” Microsoft stated. The Website The Verge repeated a report from the Czech Website IHND that quoted Microsoft product manager Petr Bobek as saying that Office apps would be available natively early next year. The Verge also said that one of its people in the Czech Republic saw a Microsoft news release stating, “In addition to Windows, Office will be also available on other operating systems, Windows Phone, Windows RT, Mac OS, Android, iOS and Symbian.” Tech news Websites have been abuzz the last few months with rumors and speculation about what Microsoft is going to do and whether or not they should do it. In July, Microsoft advertised for software developers to work at its campus in Mountain View, Calif., "on the design, implementation and testing of new feature work to be part of Microsoft's next move on the Mac and on iOS." Microsoft at the time of the ad posting stated that Office Mobile is already available on iOS, Android and, of course, Microsoft Windows Phone. The Czech report, though, specifies that Office will be available natively next March on those non-Microsoft platforms.
Running Office on Android and iOS poses good news and bad news for Microsoft. The good news is that with Apple- and Google-powered devices commanding so much of the market, Microsoft could quickly expand its presence in the apps market for those two platforms by making Office available on them.