back to article Microsoft Office on iPad: U can't touch this (yet) says Ballmer

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer says Office for the iPad is coming, but not before a fully touch-enabled version of the suite arrives for Windows. "iPad will be picked up when there's a touch first user interface," Ballmer told the audience at the Gartner Symposium ITXpo in Orlando, Florida, on Tuesday. "That's in progress for …


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  1. Quxy
    Thumb Down


    If Microsoft expects to drum up any interest in their touch-enabled Office apps, they're going to have to turn out something several orders of magnitude more advanced than OneNote. I gave it a try, but compared to something like the popular Note Anytime app, OneNote feels more like an example from a "how-to-write-touch-enabled-apps" programming tutorial than a real product.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Drum up interest

      Office isn't really necessary on an iPad.

      Who would want to write long documents etc on a touch screen? The only way it would make sense is if you were to use a keyboard with your iPad. It sort of negates the fact that you have a touch screen in the first place so why not just buy a small laptop instead.

      Not only that, but it will come at a premium price, how else will MS begin to cover their losses with the Surface?

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Of course it's necessary ; for all those high-level suits who must be able to check with their fashionable Ithingy the latest spreadsheet about their weekly progress in meetings while not being burdened by those horrendous, worker-grunt things called "laptops".

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft has a Mac Business Unit that does all of the Mac related software. So there is no reason why they have to wait for a touch enabled Office suite for Windows first. Not much code is shared between the two and with the UI totally different, not much could be shared on the touch portion anyway. This is just Microsoft trying to elevate Surface which is a losing battle to begin with. Stick with where you have market share Microsoft. if you wait too long, Open Office or Libre Office might fill the void on Android and you never know, Apple might assist in getting it on iOS and then you now have a fight on getting people to use Office on those platforms. Fill the void before someone else does!

    1. Tabor

      I sincerely doubt that Apple would assist in bringing LO/OO to iOS, since they have a competing offering (Pages/Numbers/Keynote).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      the game?

      The game could be that MS cannot afford to say "there will never be Office for iPad" because with iPad being the dominant platform that segment will be lost to MS Office. On the other hand they can't release it before the corresponding Windows 8 version because that would remove a lot of motivation for business iPad users to change over.

      I wonder whether Office for iPad will turn out to be vapourware or perhaps an eternal second-class citizen, purposely kept less functional than Office-for-Windows.

      1. JDX Gold badge

        Re: the game?

        With MS announcing their own iOS RDP client, maybe they plan to get into selling their own SaaS platform where you can use Office via a cloudy machine via RDP, without actually owning that PC - you simply run Office on the cloud connecting with your SkyDrive documents.

        Other companies have already been trialling this but run into licensing problems, MS could quite easily do this with their Azure and 365 infrastructure.

  3. Mikel

    Not gonna happen

    Really guys, give it up. There will be no Microsoft Office for iPad and Android tablets. People would give up Windows altogether.

    1. Sandtitz Silver badge

      Re: Not gonna happen @Mikel

      There's Office for Mac. Explain that.

  4. This post has been deleted by its author


    For what it's worth...

    You can download the iPhone version onto an iPad. It's horrible tho- can only work in portrait mode, and only has Word and Excel. And oh, for some reason it still runs at the resolution of a pre-retina iPhone, although Apple should be blamed for this because they refuse to allow the iPad's compatibility layer to run the app at retina resolution, even if the iPad is well capable of it (*cough* iPad4 *cough*).

    That said, even the cheaper office suites out there have more functions, supports the iPad natively, and is a one-time purchase compared to this annual subscription nonsense they have going on.

  6. Bucky O' Hare

    I've tried the OWA app on an iPad. Never again...

    Just got back from a week's holiday in Mallorca, where I took my trusty 17" Win 7 laptop, and an iPad.

    Halfway through the holiday my laptop battery died so I was forced to try and use the iPad to check my email via OWA. First tried the standard website which showed me about 5 emails at once and made the worst use of the screen space possibl.

    However I then tried the OWA app itself, which was something I WON'T be doing again. Everything's even bigger than than the website, and it shows even less emails than before. It makes searching through my emails and trying to do anything to with organising them an absolute pain in the a*rse.

    It's like they want to make the most basic email viewing tool for people with the fattest fingers and an IQ below 50. Talk about dumbing down.

    I want to see more emails on my screen, not less, and I want an interface that lets me get access to all of my emails in all of their folders. OWA is an enterprise email system Microsoft, so why give us an app that looks like its built for 5 year olds?


    1. Lusty

      Re: I've tried the OWA app on an iPad. Never again...

      Presumably your IT boys are running a recent version of Exchange with mobile OWA enabled? No probably not given your experience - perhaps try it before bashing MS again? Also presumably they block you from using the actual mail app on your iPad? I find this the most convenient way to get my Exchange mail but modern OWA is actually great on touch devices.

  7. Fihart

    End of Surface ?

    I thought the Surface's USP was to bring Office to a pad.

    So, now, add a bluetooth keyboard to an iPad and who needs Surface ?

    I'd still much prefer a netbook for such tasks.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bit late?

    Googles QuickOffice is already available for these platforms and free!

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