Steve Ballmer keeps quiet on Office for iPad...for now

by Doug Drinkwater

January 30 2013

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer chose not to divulge if the firm is developing Office apps for iPad
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer chose not to divulge if the firm is developing Office apps for iPad

Even if Microsoft is working on a version of Office for the iPad, CEO Steve Ballmer was keen to give little away after announcing Office 365 yesterday.

On launching Office 365, the Microsoft chief was asked about Office for iPad, to which he offered up a rather terse reply.

“I have  nothing to say on the topic. We’re very happy  with the product that we're putting in market,” Ballmer told Bloomberg, the CEO later going on to refer to SkyDrive rival Dropbox as a “fine little start-up”.

"It makes sense on the devices like the Mac and the PC. We have a product that we think makes a lot of sense. We do have a way for people always to get to Office through the browser, which is very important. And we'll see what we see in the future.”

Reports on the Office suite coming to the iPad have circulated for over a year now. The now-defunct The Daily first claimed to have spotted purported images of the app back in 2011 while The Verge said that it spotted screenshots of the apps for Android and iOS last November.

More recently Microsoft personnel in Czech Republic and France have inadvertently leaked details of Office mobile apps launching in 2013, although Microsoft has on both occasions acted to downplay such suggestions.

One line of thinking is that the Office apps could debut in March, although such a launch could be hit should Microsoft and Apple still be at loggerheads over Apple’s 30% app commission fee

Such squabbling was initially said to be impacting Microsoft releasing an update for its SkyDrive iOS apps, although newer reports suggest that Office may be at the heart of the problem.

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