This week saw a resurgence of the rumor that Microsoft is about to submit the Office for iPad app to Apple. However, just hours after the rumor went viral again, Microsoft killed it saying that the rumor was just that: a rumor.
It might seem a good idea for Microsoft to make an Office for iPad app. After all, hasn’t Apple already sold 55 million iPads as of last count? That’s a massive potential market just waiting to be fulfilled.
However, I’m pretty sure Microsoft has a very good reason why it won’t develop an Office for iPad app. Although I can never be sure and can only guess, I’m quite sure Microsoft’s Windows 8 is behind this.
Nonetheless, before we go to the reason why Microsoft is hesitant to make an Office for iPad app, let’s get to some context first.
On February 21, The Daily came out with an exclusive report saying that they have actually seen the Office for iPad app running on an iPad. They had a photo of what appears to be the Office for iPad app running on an iPad. The publication said that its sources told them that “the app will soon be submitted to Apple for approval.”
The Daily’s Matt Hickey wrote:
“A brief hands-on with a working prototype of the software revealed a number of new things. The app’s user interface is similar to the current OneNote app, but it has hints of Metro, the new design language that can be seen in Windows Phone and in the as-yet-released Windows 8 desktop operating system.”
If you remember, it was also an article from The Daily back in November which kicked off a flurry about the Office for iPad app.
However, just hours after the Daily Article was published and picked up by the tech media, The New York Times’ Bits Blog ran a piece with official word from Microsoft (pun intended) that it is not developing an Office for iPad App.
The New York Times wrote:
“A Microsoft spokeswoman issued this statement: ‘The Daily story is based on inaccurate rumors and speculation. We have no further comment.’ She added that a screen image included with The Daily’s article showing an Office product for iPad was ‘not Microsoft’s software,’ she said.”
So there you are: an official denial from Microsoft.
As for Microsoft’s reason, I’m thinking about Windows 8 here as I’m guessing Microsoft also is. As we all know, Windows 8 is coming during the middle of 2012 and we also know that it was designed by Microsoft to run both on Intel and ARM architecture. That is to say that Windows 8 is Microsoft’s assault on the tablet market.
ARM is the dominant architecture for smartphones and tablets. Although Intel-powered smartphones and tablets are on the way, I can’t actually see the smartphone and tablet market moving away from ARM anytime soon.
The reason why Microsoft doesn’t want the Office on the iPad is that it would really be a great differentiator between Windows 8 tablets against iPads and Android tablets. After all, the Office productivity suite is one of Microsoft’s biggest businesses. It also has a steady and loyal user base. I’m guessing it would be one of the main points Microsoft will use to sell Windows 8 tablets.
But that’s just me. How about your thoughts? Tell us in the comments down below.