On Tuesday, The Daily reported that Microsoft is ‘actively working’ on their Office Suite of products for the iPad and the Mac App Store. With this new approach, Microsoft would be drifting away from desktop computers, and competing with Apple’s iWork products, which currently includes Pages, Numbers, and Keynote.
According to sources, the tech giant is actively working on adapting its popular software suite for Apple’s tablet. With the iPad making up over 80 percent of the tablet market and millions of people worldwide using Office, that could mean big bucks for the tech giant based in Redmond, Wash.
In addition to an iPad-ready version, a new edition of Office is expected for OS X Lion sometime next year. The current version of the desktop package, Office 2011, officially supports [Mac OS X] versions up to Snow Leopard. A Lion version, likely available via the Mac App Store, is widely expected.
When the iPad was first introduced, many users complained that the iPad does not contain any reliable word processing program and that the Pages application from Apple was only restricted to the iOS platform and very hard to transfer to other platforms. With Microsoft working on a solution for the iPad, the $499 device may actually become a viable option for a laptop replacement for users still dependent on MS Office.
For users who are holding back on purchasing an iPad because of the lack of Word, PowerPoint or Excel it may now become more appealing. Microsoft commented during the initial release of the iPad, suggesting that they were working on Office for the iPad, but after the device was introduced, Microsoft said that they had “no current plans” for the iPad.