Outgoing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer strongly hinted that the company is currently working on a version of the industry-dominating Microsoft Office that will run on Apple’s iPad tablets and those running the Google Android operating system. The company has been criticized for some time for not supplying this software and Ballmer’s remarks at a meeting with financial analysts were the latest and strongest indication that we could be seeing this product sooner than later.
Ballmer never came out and admitted that Office for tablets was under development but his comments and those of others from the company suggest it is. Part of the reason for the slowness is that Microsoft likely felt that bringing out such a product might cut into their own business since their new Surface RT tablets 8 could be negatively impacted. Windows 8 has been optimized to run on tablets and with touch screens, but the reception has been less than stellar. Thus, releasing Windows for other tablet platforms will not be likely to really lower revenues that haven’t actually been very good anyway.
How soon we might see this product is anyone’s guess, but it wouldn’t be shocking if it was released anytime in the next 3-9 months. Tablets are taking over the industry, cutting into sales of laptops and desktops, so if Microsoft brought out a product that would run on all this new hardware, they could only benefit in the long run.
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