"Word, PowerPoint and Excel are all authoring tools," Ballmer said during an appearance at the Gartner Symposium. "They are optimized for use with keyboards and mice.
"The last time I checked, the iPad didn't have a paradigm for keyboard or mice. iPad will be picked up when we do what I would call not just a touch-enabled, but a touch-first user interface [for Office]. That is in progress…for both Windows 8 and other platforms."
An iPad version of Office has been rumored to be in the works for two years, including some reports last year that it was ready to be released. In the meantime, a raft of other companies have filled the gap with Office-compatible apps and features that let you edit Office documents on iOS devices.