Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) may finally introduce the long-awaited Office for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iPad next week. That’s according to unnamed sources cited by The Verge, ZDNet and Reuters (via Chicago Tribune). The software giant has been saying for quite some time that it would deliver a version of its popular productivity suite for iOS, but it hasn’t delivered yet.
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has sent out media invitations for an event on March 27, simply saying that it will focus on “news related to the intersection of cloud and mobile.”
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Microsoft hasn’t confirmed reports
Because the reports come from three different places, it seems likely that they are true, even though Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has not yet officially confirmed it. Newly named CEO Satya Nadella is expected to unveil Office for the iPad at an event set for March 27. It will be his first major press conference in that role.
According to ZDNet, this first version of Office for the iPad is expected to include just Word, Excel, OneNote and PowerPoint. No other client apps for the software may be included. Although it could be available for download from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s App Store, sources reportedly indicated that it will require a subscription to Microsoft Office 365, just as Office Mobile for iPhone does.
Recently Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) announced its Office 365 Personal subscription, which enables the software to be installed on one desktop computer and one tablet. It is expected that the Personal subscription will include the iPad as one of the supported tablets, as currently the “one tablet” means only a Windows tablet.
What Office for iOS means to Microsoft
Analysts estimate that Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) gives up approximately $2.5 billion or more in annual revenue by keeping Office off Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s devices. Sources reportedly indicated to Reuters that Microsoft has been sitting on iOS versions of the productivity software for months.
If Nadella does reveal an iOS version for the software, it would certainly be in keeping with his history of introducing policies which would seem to go against Microsoft culture but will, in the long run, be better for the company. In addition to unveiling the software, he is also expected to discuss his thinking in terms of the broader direction for Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT). He came from the company’s cloud division to become its CEO and has already said cloud and mobile will play an increased role in the company’s future.