Apple iPad may get Microsoft Office

A Microsoft manager has hinted that the company's Office suite of applications, which dominate the business and education worlds, could come to the iPad.

It may have been a throwaway comment, but when T3 asked Microsoft senior product manager Mike Tedesco if Office would be coming to the iPad, he answered "Yeah, it's something that we're looking at," which sounds pretty positive to us.

Much has been made of the iPad's lack of core applications which work in the real world, and securing a cross-platform compliant version of Microsoft's annoyingly ubiquitous suite of productivity software would be a real game changer for the tablet.

But all will depend on the success or otherwise of the much trumpeted touchscreen device. Microsoft is likely to wait until the verdict is in on iPad sales before committing to the platform, but if Apple's iPod on steroids achieves the kind of sales some pundits are predicting, Microsoft would be missing out on a massive opportunity if it turned its back on the iPad.

It may be the case, however, that Apple won't allow Microsoft to port what will almost certainly be a cut-down version of the suite to the device. The Cupertino company is heavily promoting its own Office-alike iWork application which will sell for $10 a pop and do pretty much everything Word, Excel, Powerpoint and the like can do.