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?