Microsoft Product Manager Peter Bobek told the press in a Czech Republic press event earlier today that native apps will be made available starting from March 2013. The Verge has also seen an early press release from Microsoft, which stated:
“In addition to Windows, Office will be also available on other operating systems, Windows Phone, Windows RT, Mac OS, Android, iOS and Symbian.”
Office for iPad has been rumored for quite a bit now, and will be great for consumers who are used to the Microsoft suite. We presume that this will be integrated with Office 2013 and it’s new cloud based features. The iOS version will give the consumer a great way to gain access to their Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents, especially for those people in business.
According to the Verge, the press release also mentioned that Office 2013 will be made available to business in December, while consumers will have to wait until February. Business will be offered what’s called Office 365.
“Office 365 services and other Office products for mobile (phones and tablets) will be released from March 2013”
The release of Office 2013 will definitely shrink the market for the third-party apps that mimic the current Office Suite on the iOS App Store. I can see this suite being excellent especially for business, who need their documents on the fly as they travel. The pricing will be interesting also, and it will be interesting to see how Microsoft prices it against Apple iLife Suite for the iPad. The iLife apps cost $9.99 CAD each, and hopefully, Microsoft will make this app affordable to their consumers. But there is no doubt that this app will be a success for Microsoft.