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?