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Microsoft Office for iPad coming after touch-friendly Windows edition

Microsoft has confirmed that Microsoft Office will be coming to iPad after the company has developed a touch-friendly Windows edition.

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, has let slip that a touch focused edition of Office is currently being made, which will eventually come to iPads too.

Speaking at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, Ballmer explained that the touch first interface would first be developed for Windows devices.

“iPad will be picked up when there’s a touch-first user interface”, said Ballmer.

Microsoft released its Office Mobile app for iPhone in June, but an iPad edition was notably absent. Users are required to have an Office 365 subscription in order to use the app for free, which costs £79.99 annually or £7.99 per month.

Instead of the iPhone Office Mobile app, iPad users were ushered towards the Office Web Apps in the Safari browser. Of course, the iPhone app does run on iPads but at a significantly reduced resolution in a tiny window, which isn’t exactly user-friendly.

However, the latest announcement from Ballmer is welcome news for business and consumer iPad users alike.

According to Microsoft insiders, Kevin Turner, Microsoft’s Chief Operating Officer, expressed that there was a “need to own the productivity experience across all devices”.

Qi Lu, Head of Applications and Services at Microsoft, said earlier this year that the company was working on touch-first interfaces for its Office programmes.

“[Microsoft] is working on touch-first version for our core apps in the Office suite,” said Lu. “[We will] bring these apps to Windows devices, and also to other devices in way that meet our customers’ needs.”

Microsoft has yet to offer any release date details for the iPad version of Office, but we expect it wouldn’t be until early next year.

Until then, Windows fans will have to suffice with the Windows 8.1 release date on October 18.

Next, read our roundup of the best Windows 8 laptops, tablets, convertibles and PCs

Via: The Verge

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