Microsoft reportedly delays Office Suite for iOS and Android until late 2014

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Office suite for Windows and Mac is perhaps the most important piece of software on both platforms and many argue that it is Microsoft’s biggest business, even bigger than the Windows operating system. Office Suite is popular among both business and home users and has been part of our student and professional lives since over a decade. Though it faces a tough challenge from Google Docs which is available as a web app and accessible for free, Office Suite is running fine and making billions of dollars for the Redmond-based company.

Office Suite which consists of Word, Excel, Powerpoint, OneNote and Outlook applications has been available for desktop platforms only and despite the immense popularity of mobile devices that are powered by Android, iOS and others the company has had shown no interest in releasing the popular Office suite on competing mobile platforms. However that position changed when it was leaked that the company is working on the Office for iOS and Android devices and will probably released it in early 2013. Of coarse that hasn’t happened yet as we have seen no signs of it releasing on mobile platforms though Microsoft is reportedly working on Metro-style versions of the Office apps which will be released later this year.

Although everyone was expecting the release of the Office suite for iOS and Android in 2013 the new reports are rather disappointing. According to ZDNet Microsoft has decided to delay the launch of Office for mobile platforms and instead of debuting it in 2013 the company will release it to public in October 2014. This is a bad news for anyone who was waiting for Office for iPhone, iPad and Android powered tablets and smartphones.

While the report suggests that the massive delay has been caused ZDNet failed to provide any reason for the delay and subtly hinted that the report might be wrong. Nevertheless if the delay is caused it is hard to believe that Microsoft’s talented team of developers weren’t able to produce apps for iOS and Android and the software giant had to delay the project for more than 1.5 years.

One possibility can be that Microsoft is deliberately delaying the release of Office for rival mobile platforms giving its own desktop and tablet platforms an edge over competitors as Office is an essential piece of software for users. However this could also backfire as by then mobile users could have become accustomed to Google Docs which still works on both Android and iOS – and is getting better day by day. [ZDNet]

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