Microsoft denied a report that emerged Tuesday in The Daily suggesting that an iPad-friendly Microsoft Office mobile app is in the works. The Internet is now bubbling over with one-off stories about the likelihood that Office — the world’s most popular software suite, which includes Word, PowerPoint, and Excel — will at long last be made available on the world’s most popular tablet computer.
If nothing else, the sheer volume of Internet noise on an Office iPad app tells you that this would be a really big deal. Because for all the alternatives now available to Microsoft’s staple software programs, many of which can now be stored in the cloud (Google Docs being one of the most common), the fact remains that most companies still prefer using Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.
For field service companies that are either considering adopting consumer-grade tablets like the iPad, the (sort-of) news about Office being made available on the iPad should register as yet another reason to ditch their (comparably) bulky and unwieldy laptops.
Some other notes on the (sort of) news, courtesy of Computer World:
One analyst counted Office on iPad a done deal. “They should do [Office for the iPad], but more importantly, they will,” Al Hilwa, of IDC, said in an interview today.
Microsoft’s Business division, which generated more revenue and operating income last quarter than any other part of the company, would be responsible for Office on the iPad; the suite would presumably be built by Microsoft’s Mac Business Unit, or MacBU, which was recently shifted from the Entertainment group to Business.
But the division wouldn’t be able to make the call on its own. “A decision like this would have gone through [CEO Steve] Ballmer,” said Hilwa.
We’ll keep an eye out for any more news or developments on this front.