No iPad version of Office -- yet

July 18, 2012 at 6:07 PM
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SAN FRANCISCO, July 18 (UPI) -- While Microsoft's next version of its Office software is ready for tablets and other touch devices, that probably won't include the iPad just yet, analysts say.

While rumors of an Office/iPad relationship have swirled, Microsoft's unveiling of details of the new Office in San Francisco this week made it clear that wouldn't happen in the near future.

Microsoft's own Windows is the priority for the newest version of the company's flagship software offering, Office division President Kurt DelBene said in an interview with CNET.

The new touch-friendly productivity suite will debut on Windows 8, launching in October, with Microsoft's OS seen as the best showcase for the Office suite of programs.

"We have a unique opportunity with Windows 8 style applications to push that even further," DelBene said.

Microsoft would give Windows tablets priority for the application many companies still consider a must-have, he said, refusing to say when, or even if, Microsoft would release a version of Office for the iPad.

Still, analysts say, an eventual iPad version is almost a given.

"If Microsoft is really serious about continued competition in Office, and maintaining things, they will have to have an iPad version," Michael Silver, an analyst at Gartner, said.

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