Microsoft is reportedly working on bringing Office to the iPad, with a version for Apple’s tablet coming sometime in 2012. Citing unnamed sources, News Corp’s The Daily said that Microsoft would be targeting a US$10 per app price point for each of the component applications in Office, the same price point Apple established for Pages, Numbers, and Keynote in its Office competitor, iWorks.
The Daily is News Corp’s newspaper that was launched as an iPad-specific and tablet-centric publication, though it is now available to more traditional computers through a browser, as well. The poorly edited and poorly worded article said Office for iPad would likely be compatible with Microsoft’s online Office 365 service and Windows Phone’s Office Hub.
In a statement released to CNet, Microsoft declined to respond directly to the rumor, saying, “We already deliver Office on multiple platforms and devices and are committed to expanding in the future, but have nothing further to share today.”
Office for iPad could come early in 2012, well ahead of Microsoft’s planned releases of new versions of Office for Lion and Windows 8 that are scheduled for late in 2012.
Third party Office-compatible apps such as Documents To Go and QuickOffice were among the first apps released for the iPad in the early months after the iPad shipped in 2010. Apple then brought Pages, Keynote, and Numbers to the device, showing that a quality productivity experience was possible on a touch-interface device.
Since then, many have wondered how long before Microsoft followed suit and brought its dominating productivity tools to Apple’s newest platform. If The Daily’s sources are accurate, it would appear that Apple has gained enough of a user base to make the platform attractive to Microsoft.