Microsoft Office may finally be making its way to iOS. Yes. Again. This time the rumors come courtesy of a press release from Microsoft’s Czech Republic team, as well as Microsoft product manager Petr Bobek. Tom Warren at The Verge got busy translating:
Microsoft product manager Petr Bobek has confirmed that the software maker is planning to release native iOS and Android versions of Office 2013 next year. Speaking at a press event in the Czech Republic earlier today, Bobek told Czech site IHNED that native apps will be made available from March 2013.
While Microsoft already has a number of apps for both iPhone and iPad, including OneNote and SkyDrive, most of the Office Suite has so far remained desktop-only. There have been rumors of release earlier this year, with many speculating that Office for iOS would debut with the iPad 3, but no such luck, and Microsoft denied the legitimacy of a photo of Office running on an iPad.
Many other developers on the App Store have tried to make replacements for Office, and Apple themselves have released their own iWork apps, but some consumers feel that the presence of Microsoft Office is necessary for them to consider the iPad a device on which they can work. With the launch of Windows RT, Office will finally be coming to tablets, and while Microsoft hopes for the success of Windows RT tablets, and with existing online versions of Office and Outlook, it may feel that it is prudent to put their software on devices that millions of consumers already own.
Still, how many tech companies would "announce" a major, transitional new product via the equivalent of a the deputy team dude in eastern Europe? Could you see Apple announcing Xcode for Windows via the lead designer in Latvaria? And they list Symbian as a supported operating system, which makes about as much sense as BlackBerry 7.
Either Microsoft's marketing communications are as out of whack as their branding, or somebody's going to have some explaining to do... Any bets on which one?