Microsoft reportedly planning to launch Office for iOS in late 2014

Microsoft reportedly planning to launch Office for iOS in late 2014

There has been report after report that Microsoft Office is seriously, for real this time, coming to iOS, but now it appears that Office might not be making its way to iOS until late 2014. Yes, really. In an apparent leak of their Office product roadmap, called Gemini, Microsoft details different waves in which products will be launched, and Office for iOS and Android is scheduled for October 2014. ZDNet has the details:

Gemini Wave 1.0 (October 2013): Windows Blue app updates

Gemini Wave 1.5 (April 2014): Office for Mac; Office RT refresh; Perceptive Pixel support; Windows Phone support refresh

Gemini Wave 2.0 (October 2014): Outlook RT; Office for iOS/Android

If leak proves to be accurate, it shows that Microsoft has really lost the plot. Sure, plenty of people rely on Office for work, but people who want Office on their mobile devices have done one of two things: they’ve either already purchased a Windows Phone device and/or a Windows tablet, or they’ve found another solution on iOS or Android. Both Apple’s iWork and Google Docs are cheaper and while they might not have every feature of Office, they have the features that most people need. You also don’t need to buy them again when you want the latest version.

Many businesses might still be entrenched in the thought of needing Office, but that is changing, albeit slowly. But that change will continue and it will continue to build momentum. If Microsoft is really going to wait until fall of next year to launch Office for iOS, they’re going to find that many, maybe most, of their potential customers are going to have moved on, and I’m afraid that may surprise them. And it shouldn’t.

If this roadmap is real, by late 2014, do you think you'll still want or need Office for iOS?

Source: ZDNet

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Joseph Keller

News Writer for Mobile Nations. Fascinated by the ways that technology connects us.

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Reader comments

Microsoft reportedly planning to launch Office for iOS in late 2014


"it shows that Microsoft has really lost the plot" - I think we know that this is the case. I think if this proves to be accurate the need/want for MS Office will be minimal to none. As mentioned by the author there are cheaper alternatives available that perform the functions of Office that most end-users require.

"If Microsoft is really going to wait until fall of next year to launch Office for iOS, they’re going to find that many, maybe most, of their potential customers are going to have moved on" To where? The iPad has been out for three years and people haven't standardized on something other than Office. Why would 2014 be any different? This is a post-pc world, Office (or any of it's competitors) clearly aren't needed.

Well I think they should have released this two years ago. People are now adapting to iWorks. It's so hard to go back to office after using iWorks. But good thing is they are releasing it.

Mobile is a growing, but minor province when it comes to office productivity. 2014 will not be "too late". MS Office is far and away the industry standard. If people are willing to go the 365 subscription route, they will definitely get Office for iOS/Android.

So, let’s see… Microshaft building a product for IOS… Version 6?? 3? 44?? These Klowns are so out of the mainstream, this kind of announcement/rumor/marketing LIE is not relevant… To me, to you or ANYONE ELSE ON EARTH…

We all know that if they wanted to make money they would have released an iOS version years ago. They know that the number 1 reason people stay with pc (I guess after familiarity and maybe cost) is the dependence people have on office. Many people out there fail to believe that other comparable tools exist. People need office so to get it natively on a tablet they have to buy a PC. Delaying the release of an iOS version may serve to move more pc tablets. Eventually they have to release on iOS edition or at least look as though they are making an effort so that they appease the stock holders who only care about making money.

iWork has likely sold millions of copies by now. Pages is consistently in the top 10 on the App Store charts, and Keynote and Numbers aren't far behind. Folks have realized by now that they don't need Office.

To little, to late. iWork has Office beaten hands down. If only some big companies and whatnot would make the switch.

I've used all kinds of office alternatives, but all of them have compatibility and formatting issues somewhere. I just want something that reads and edits as painlessly as a native copy of Office. And I think the only way to get that is with an native app. Office document formats are the defacto standard for business, I don't think that's going to change any time soon. So to say that "we don't need office" is a bit short sighted. I'll be happy to see this come to fruition.

When they launch it, i don't think people will use that much, because by that time, there is going to be something probably much better and besides, they should had launch it when the ipad 1 came out

While I think this is fantastic, I think MS will end up charging far more than they should for this product. There are many different alternatives out there for far cheaper.

Who cares, I an a Windows PC guy with an iPhone and an iPad and I wouldn't buy it now. And a year from now Office on an iPad will be even more irrelevant due to the increasing popularity of touch screen laptop/tablet hybrids. If I ever need to replace my laptop or my iPad or both, I'll be going for a real computer with a touch screen not a tablet with only limited functionality.

LOL, you guys are so funny. For many businesses that have standardized on Microsoft Office (which is the overwhelming majority whether we like it or not) there have always been issues creating in MS Office at your desk, going on the road and opening in an "Office-Compatible" app with slight formatting errors and such, saving it, then opening it again when you get back to your desk only to find the compatible app has messed up some formatting here and there, and having to fix it again. Things like headers, footers, footnotes, charts, lines, shapes, tables, powerpoint transitions, animations, cross-document referencing etc... and most definitely MACROS often get messed up on Office-Compatible apps.

If you do nothing but type basic letters in Word then you are probably fine with an alternative app, but if you are in a business that uses any of the advanced functions of Office (and there are a billion) then chances are things will get messed up somewhere along the line.

I don't understand why people want to use this chance to bash MS when I can't see this as anything but GOOD news for us. NOBODY will provide better Office compatibility than MS themselves. It will only make iOS devices MORE attractive for corporate use.

I'm a heavy Office user, especially with Word and Excel and don't see MS offering anything that is usable on iOS either that wouldn't have the same problems. Heck, they can't even develop a Metro version for their own. It's the desktop version with a few tweaks and loss of features. You think this will go well on iOS? Office is very complex.

Even if it was offered today on the ipad, I wouldn't use it. I don't use an ipad for that type of work.

It's better to just link into a PC or Mac using logmein or similar. That's what I do now when the need arises. I don't see this changing.

Yeah I'll still buy it. What am I going to do, use Pages or Google Docs? I actually care about my content, so I'd so I'd rather eat a whole Surface Pro.

Are we referring to "Pages", "Keynote" and other "parts", because I looked for iWork in the app store for iOS and it's not there. If they release MS Office for iOS, don't think people won't want it and won't buy it. While there are "other solutions" that work to some degree, they aren't MS Office. Many medium and large companies in America standardized on MS Office years ago and that's not going to change any time soon. What some may miss is that, having MS Office for iOS will increase desire for the platform by people who want to get some work done. Of course, that will reduce the desire for an MS Surface Tablet, but maybe MS will give up on in in 12 months.

That's a bloody wait!! I don't mind waiting for Wondows 8.1 but Microsoft office (for iOS) in 2 years since inital launch is absurd.

I've been using Documents to Go for years: first on Palm, now on iOS. It can't do everything and I don't expect it to. Portable devices don't have the power and i/o to carry the load yet, and may never. Use each tool in its place.

Microsoft is kidding itself if it doesn't adapt Office to every single platform it can, even if it cannibalizes a portion of its OS business. I understand what it's trying to do with Metro, even if its early work is a near-disaster, but the cash cow was and still is Office and related productivity apps and they need to work everywhere. Fold that functionality into programs like Office 365, make Visio and Project more accessible and more likely be become standards, and you continue to own the universe.

The longer Microsoft is off the field the more of it they cede.

As others have pointed out, there are alternatives, even MS-Office compatible alternatives, on iOS now. Microsoft's ace in the hole over 3rd party Office tools for power users has always been Macros and VBA. Of course, Apple will ban them from the App Store, unless they make an interpreted language exception for Microsoft and Office, so Redmond is going to have a very tough uphill battle here.