Microsoft has a version of its Office apps for iPad, but is unsure about when to release them and how much to charge, reports Nick Wingfield at The New York Times. Previous reports about the suite coming to the iPad have been made by News Corp.’s The Daily back in November of last year.
The publication then snagged an image of what it said was the suite running on the iPad, something that Microsoft vehemently denied, saying that The Daily’s report was based on inaccurate rumors and speculation.
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Wingfield says that sources tell him otherwise:
Those denials, though, appear to be related more to some of the fine details around the Office for iPad project, rather than its existence. According to one of the people familiar with the effort, Microsoft still has not settled important details, such as when it will release the software and how much the software will sell for. Microsoft already offers one small piece of its Office suite for the iPad, a note-taking app, OneNote.
Today’s acquisition of Quickoffice by Google likely added pressure to any decisions that Microsoft will make about offering its crown jewel on Apple’s tablet. With Windows 8’s launch on tablets imminent, Microsoft would no doubt love to leverage office compatibility as an exclusive incentive to adopt.
Google’s dominance of the web-based productivity game with Google Docs likely has rankled Microsoft as well. Putting Office on the iPad would work to head Google off if it chose to spin up its own version of Quickoffice for iOS as well as Android.
Pricing is also tricky, with Quickoffice going for $19.99, with the potential to go free if it follows Google’s ad-supported model. Apple’s iWork is also being offered for $30 as separate $10 purchases.