Microsoft's Mac Business Unit to Develop for iPhone?


Chalk another developer up for the iPhone App Watch: Microsoft. Microsoft has a small team called the MacBU that develops the very successful Office Suite for the Mac -- an office suite that until the recent version was widely thought to be more advanced than even its Windows counterpart and in some ways a "test bed" for features that would eventually make it into the Windows version of Office.

It may surprise some to hear that Microsoft is looking at the iPhone for development, but it ought not. I mean, they just all got buddy buddy with full ActiveSync Exchange support, so a little thing like utilizing the SDK for a Mini-Office app ain't no thang.

“It’s really important for us to understand what we can bring to the iPhone,” Tom Gibbons, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Specialized Devices and Applications Group, told Fortune on Monday. “To the extent that Mac Office customers have functionality that they need in that environment, we’re actually in the process of trying to understand that now.” - FORTUNE [via MacRumors]

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Dieter Bohn

Dieter Bohn is former editor-in-chief of Smartphone Experts, writing across iMore, Windows Phone Central, Android Central, and more. You can find him on Twitter (and everywhere else) @backlon.

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Reader comments

Microsoft's Mac Business Unit to Develop for iPhone?


Balmer: We'll give you Pocket Office if you take Silverlight *breaks into dance*
Jobs: iWork Touch ships in June, Monkey Boy!

I'd be thrilled with silverlight. I can live without pocket office if it means the mac bu can spend their resources on fixing the very-much-broken Office 2008.

I can live without pocket office if it means the mac bu can spend their resources on fixing the very-much-broken Office 2008.
Damn right. Stop Excel crashing (and add back custom error bars!)

I'd rather have DataViz DocsToGo, baby! Then, all this talk about Pocket Office or iWork won't really matter ;)

DocsToGo and QuickOffice both failed miserably for me in that they seemed to convert everything to HTML and were very limited in their feature set.
One of the primary reasons I got a Treo was to work on full length books while I was on-the-go. I wanted to be able to proof, edit, and write down any turns of phrase or dialog I came up with during the day, and sync it back to my desktop to keep working when I got home.
Both DocsToGo and QuickOffice broke all manner of formatting and never provided enough function. (I went up to whatever version shipped with or came out at the same time as the 680).
I know a mobile office app will not offer full functionality any time soon, but maintaining style info (if not display) and formatting are a must for me.
iWork Touch or Office 2009 Touch would hopefully come closer to that.
(Note: I never much used the spreadsheets, but for what I did use them for, both DTG and QO were fine).