At long last, the Microsoft Office suite will allegedly be landing on Apple iPad this year.
According to The Verge, Microsoft is planning to launch Office for iPad before July 2014. If true, the news would back up what outgoing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said back in October, when he told a packed audience at the Gartner Symposium that the Redmond company were working on a way to support the suite on iPad.
Whispers about Apple supporting Microsoft's popular applications on its sought-after tablet are nothing new. The world expected it last summer, however Microsoft unveiled a version only for Apple's iPhone leaving iPad users feeling short changed.
In January 2013, a Morgan Stanley analyst claimed that releasing Office for iPad could add $1.3 billion (£838 million) to Apple's revenue streams. Considering how the hot topic of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) has developed, this is quite possible as those who need to work on the move will be willing to pay for the ability to create and edit high quality documents in agile environments.
Apple seem to be acutely aware of this, pressing fast-forward on their development of Office for iPad with the intention to "bring it to market fairly soon," says the Verge.
Indeed, the new timeline on Office for iPad suggests that it may even be released before Microsoft has even started boxing up its first version of a touch-centric Office for Windows 8.
At the very least, it's hoped the Office for iPad will be more comprehensive than its iPhone cousin. On the iPhone, Office requires an Office 365 subscription to operate, and even with all that not all of its apps are fully accessible.