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Now might be the time to stop waiting for Office for iPad

by Doug Drinkwater

April 11 2013

Microsoft is not expected to launch Android and iOS apps for Microsoft Office until the fall of 2014
Microsoft is not expected to launch Android and iOS apps for Microsoft Office until the fall of 2014

The never-ending saga of “will they, won’t they?” when it comes to Microsoft launching an Office app for iPad isn’t about to go away. A new alleged roadmap suggests that apps for iOS and Android will launch next fall.

The roadmap was discovered by ZDNet writer Mary Jo Foley.

“An alleged roadmap for Microsoft’s coming ‘Gemini’ wave of Office updates, if accurate, indicates Microsoft’s Office for iOS and Android — as well as Outlook for Windows RT — may be further away than many hoped and expected,” wrote Foley.

“The 1.5 wave of the Gemini updates is set for April 2014, the roadmap indicates. This is when the Office team will deliver the next version of Mac Office.

 “Also on the roadmap for fall 2014 is what’s listed as iOS/Android support for Office. One would assume this is the expected and widely rumored Office for iPad release. It could, however, be Office for iPhone and Android phone, given that it’s not listed on the roadmap as being tablet-specific.”

The purported roadmap, which also hints at Windows Blue coming this October, goes onto to indicate that an update for Office RT could come in April 2014, with an Outlook RT app not on the radar until October, news which is unlikely to welcomed by Surface RT owners.

The Office for iPad launch date was met with disbelief by bloggers and analysts alike, with one analyst warning Microsoft that any such app could be irrelevant by then.

"That's too late for Office on iPad, the market is moving too fast," said Frank Gillett, an analyst with Forrester Research, in an email to Computerworld.

"It would be a mistake. Users and software vendors will have solved the productivity document issue by then -- Google's buy of Quickoffice is a strong indicator of that -- and it will cause customers to drift away from Microsoft.”

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