In June this year Microsoft released Office for iPhone users. The following month, July, Microsoft released Office for Android too. While Office on both platforms (though just basic and not as fully fledged as on Windows Phone) has been around for a while now and based on one’s subscription to Office 365, the same has not been available for those with larger form factor devices like iPads and the various Android tablets available. The current Office apps are designed for use on standard phone displays and not on slates. That is bound to change, at least for Apple’s iPad, soon.
Speaking at the Gartner conference, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer hinted that Office for the iPad is not far away. What is holding it back is a touch interface. It is expected to be released as soon as the touch interface for Office is up and ready. The Office app available on tablets running Microsoft’s Windows OS (Windows 8 or RT) is just like the desktop version and has been called out for making document editing a pain using touch interfaces as compared to using a pointing device like a mouse. This will change with a reworked Office app for Windows devices that have touch screens like the Surface tablets coming soon. It is expected that the Office app for the iPad will only come after the Windows one has been rolled out. So far the only Office related app from Microsoft that has a full touch interface is One Note which s also available on almost all platforms (Android, iOS) for free and is pretty good at what it does.
So if you own an iPad, watch this space, creating documents on your tablet is bound to get way better. There is no word on whether Android tablets will get the same treatment or whether this will be tied to Office 365 subscription though it is highly likely that this will be the case here.