Microsoft is moving one step closer to releasing its Office applications on iPad, iPhone and Android, according to a recent report by The Verge.

Although rumours about Office Mobile have been circulating for some time now – especially once an iPad version was spotted by The Daily – there has been very little evidence to suggest that the apps are actively in development.

The Verge, however, say they have learned through “several sources close to Microsoft’s plans” that the technology powerhouse will release versions of its Office applications for both Android and iOS early next year. These will support Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents.

office 520 Microsoft Office for iOS and Android coming early 2013, free with subscription upgrades available

These apps, grouped together under the name Office Mobile, will be available for free from the outset, according to The Verge. They are thought to require a Microsoft account, similar to SkyDrive and OneNote, but only allow viewing on a smartphone or tablet. Basic editing will be supported if you have an Office 365 subscription, although The Verge has emphasized that this functionality “won’t go very far” in regards to replacing the full desktop versions.

A spokesperson for Microsoft reportedly told reporters that “Office will work across Windows Phone, iOS and Android.”

Microsoft is staying tight lipped for now regarding when Office Mobile will be launched officially, although The Verge claim that they have already seen a press release from the company’s Czech Republic subsidiary revealing a provisional date of March 2013. Microsoft has denied that this information is accurate, however.

Featured Image: Stephen Brashear/Getty Images
Image Credit: The Verge