The Office Suite, which is composed of Word, Excel and Powerpoint, is Microsoft's biggest software product and many have been expecting to see Office on the iPad and the iPhone as well as on myriad Android smartphones and tablets. It looks like 2013 is the year when Microsoft finally puts the most popular office suite into the leading mobile platforms.
The Verge broke the story today that Microsoft was readying Office for iOS by March 2013 and also for Android by May 2013. This is big news because having Microsoft Office on these mobile platforms puts them on equal footing with notebooks and desktops in terms of productivity and content creation. A Microsoft spokesperson reportedly told sources. "Office will work across Windows Phone, iOS and Android."
While there are various substitutes for Office in both the Android and iOS platforms, many which can save and open files in Microsoft Office formats, they can't match the scope and familiarity of the original's features.
The iOS and Android versions of Microsoft Office will not be full-scale versions with all the bells and whistles of the desktop version or even the version that ships on the Windows RT Microsoft Surface tablet.
They will likely be free applications that allow basic reading and saving of Word, Excel and Powerpoint files and will likely tie-in with Microsoft's cloud products like Office 365 and SkyDrive for advanced functionality.
Microsoft has already proven that it can create software for smartphones since Office is present in each Windows Phone and the ARM version of Offce on Windows RT is just as good as or even better than Office 2010 on the desktop.
It will be interesting to see how far Microsoft will take Office on competing mobile platforms in terms of feature and functionality compared to the versions running on its smartphones and tablets.
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