Microsoft Office for iOS reportedly finished, so why isn't it here yet?

Office for iPad

Microsoft Office for iPhone and iPad is reportedly ready for release, so why has no-one seen it yet? According to a report from Reuters, new Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, is at the center:

Microsoft already has a full iPhone and iPad version of Office ready for release, the sources said. The only question is when Chief Executive Satya Nadella, who took over in February, will pull the trigger.

Nadella wants to widen Office's customer base but has to balance that with the flagship Windows franchise, which benefits greatly from tight integration with Office, especially on desktop computers.

We've been hearing reports of a version of Microsoft Office for the iPad inparticular for so long now, it's still pretty remarkable we haven't seen anything, yet. A more recent report suggested that it could actually appear before the Windows 8 dedicated version, and this would seem to back up those claims. As does this quote from Microsoft's John Case:

"We have some pretty exciting plans," said John Case, the top Office marketing executive, without giving any details. "Certainly, interest in Office on the iPad is extreme. When they (customers) want to do real work, they are going to want to use Office."

Sure, an iOS app probably isn't Nadella's first priority having taken the reigns at Microsoft. But if it's ready to go, it seems pretty ridiculous that Microsoft aren't just releasing it. There is still a market for Office, it's still an important product and it's something that a large number of global iPhone and iPad users would download in a heartbeat.

So come on Microsoft. Enough, already. If it's finished, let's just have it, OK?

Source: Reuters

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Richard Devine

Senior Editor at iMore, part time racing driver, full time British guy

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Reader comments

Microsoft Office for iOS reportedly finished, so why isn't it here yet?


Many people like me do not care anymore, iWork works more than enough, not expecting or actually i do not care about microsoft anymore!

Many people like you? No, only you don't care. The rest of us want Office on iOS. Thanks though.

Posted via the Android iMore App on my Nexus 5!

I actually don't care that much. For my needs (basic word processing) iWork is enough. Heck I could get by with text editor.

There's no need to be snarky. He was stating that there is a group of people who aren't waiting so anxiously. If you need it, great. If not great too.

Sent from the iMore App

@ Gazoobee: Unless he meant to say that he does care :)
Using the phrase “could care less” actually means that one does, in fact, possess a measurable level of caring, concern or interest of a given situation and is contradictory to the context in which that phrase is commonly used. The use of “could care less”, in fact, expresses that one does care, have an interest, or a level of concern about a topic or situation.

I'm overwrought with indifference regarding Office on iOS Eric. You're not a spokesperson for anyone other than you... "the rest of us..." Ha.

Most likely trying to figure out how much we would pay. If is is not a stand alone app, not worth it. I still think they waited too long on this. That is just me. Once I got use to iWork, and it became free, that is what I use. Most new computers do not have full Office installed, but a trial, or even worse Microsoft works. Once you look at the full price of Office, it can be a little high for what you would use it for. If they do not put this out soon, they are missing a great operatunity.

I don't think Works has been installed on anything in years. Anymore, it's the sodding Office demo that runs for a few days then croaks.

They need to instead have a "New PC" mode that's really just native, local apps that give identical functionality to the web apps. Once you buy a license, the rest of the stuff appears and works.

I don't know what they should do. They're stuck between a rock and a hard place. As PC sales cool and folks buy less junk machines, then there's less licenses of Windows selling. The longer they stick with the "Office is for Windows" mentality, the farther they'll slip.

But giving Office to all platforms will eliminate one of the top selling-points for Windows!

I think the best thing for them to do is radically re-think things. Chop the price of Windows in half, maybe lower it even more. OS X doesn't cost anything now. Linux never did. Why not just sell Windows for... $30? Thirty bucks. No "upgrades" or anything stupid like that. Just pay $30 and you get the newest version. Then instead of selling the lowest-end version of Office for $200 and the monthly version for $10 a month, have a "Word and Excel" pack that sells for... Maybe $100 or $5/month.

Five bucks a month to get Word and Excel, two of the most-used pieces of software on Earth, and you can always install the newest version of Windows when it comes out for $30. The installer disc (or USB stick) you make can either upgrade or do a clean install. Both of them just work, no fooling around.

Meh. What am I thinking? That crap makes too much sense for those guys to understand.

The thing is though ... by all accounts Microsoft's "Office for iPad" is just a portal to an Office 360 account. In other words expensive, and useless for the average consumer.

If they actually made "Word for iOS" I might consider switching back if it was a good product and had all the same features of Pages, but they AREN'T.

If you use iOS devices, you already have an iCloud account, if you use them a lot, you are already paying for it as well. Why would anyone be motivated to *quit* iCloud, (because it's prohibitive to pay for both), and pay the same or more for Office 360 when they still need to sync all their other stuff?

People who already have an Office 360 account, possibly through work will be pleased to get iOS support, but there doesn't seem to be a value proposition for those who don't. Microsoft will have to provide all the features of iCloud, seamlessly, as *well* as Office 360, all at the same price or lower than Apple's offering before it would be worthwhile to switch. And even then, you'd always be behind the feature set of those who have chosen simply to use iCloud.

I don't really care much about MS Office but it might be nice for my kids. So many teachers assume everyone has Office.

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I can't begin to explain my frustration with the term "real work" being used synonymously with Microsoft Office. Not only have I been using iWork at my job, the last time I checked it was real work.

I'm a fairly advanced user of Office, and I guarantee you, I could be much more productive if I could use iWork at work.

Minor grammatical point, but the penultimate graph should read "having taken the reins," not "having taken the reigns."

Where's this "why isn't it here yet" for Apple? 7.1? Took forever. Of course your answer would and should be, because it's not ready yet. Did a bug fix really need Carplay features? Couldn't that have waited for 7.2? Who the heck will benefit from carplay besides a very scant few at first?

In one breath, iMore is asking if Office is important. In another, it's wondering why hasn't it launched. MS will do what's best for MS. Not you. Same as Apple.

It's still important to note that MS isn't launching Office for Windows on iOS. The Mac version comes close but a native iOS version?