It looks like Microsoft has completed a version of its Office productivity software for the iPad and the app is awaiting Apple’s approval and should be available in a few weeks, according to a report from The Daily.
The Daily says that the Office for iPad app enables users to create and store Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents on the Apple tablet but it’s unclear if any of the other Microsoft services will be supported. It also says that this will feature the Metro-style design that we’ve seen in the Windows Phone platform and with the upcoming Windows 8.
If true, the move is interesting for many reasons. The iPad is steadily gaining traction in the enterprise markets and while there are many apps which can handle these documents, you’d figure many CTOs would prefer to get the software straight from Microsoft.
As for Microsoft, this may be the beginning of a shift from a “Windows everywhere” to an “Office everywhere” strategy. Microsoft had been keeping Office on the Windows Phone platform and pitched it as a key differentiator. At its core, Microsoft is a software company, so developing for the uber-popular iPad and iOS make sense in that regard.
We don’t know when this is going to land and how much it will be (I’d guess it will be a bit more than the iWork apps). We also don’t know how full-featured this will be, as I’m imagining we’ll get roughly the same capabilities as you would would Office 365 on the web.
Still, Microsoft should be bringing its Office apps to the iPad very soon. That’s pretty cool.
Update: Mary Jo Foley at ZDNet received word from Microsoft that the screenshot above is fake but Microsoft remains mum on if Office will actually come to the iPad. Foley is an expert at everything Microsoft, so go ahead and click over for a detailed look at separating the fact from fiction on this Office for iPad thing.