The New Office Is Here; Those Pesky iOS Apps Aren’t

Published on January 29, 2013
by Ina Fried

That Microsoft is working on iPad versions of its Office apps is one of the worst-kept secrets in technology. The company has nearly said as much several times.


In one of many statements last year, Microsoft said that a forthcoming version of Office Mobile “will work across Windows Phones, Android phones and iOS.”

However, when those Android and iOS apps will see the light of day remains up in the air.

There was no mention of them among Redmond’s series of Office announcements on Tuesday, which included the debut of Office 365 Home Premium, its new paid consumer subscription service for Office. The service allows consumers to install Office on up to five computers, both Macs and Windows PCs — the first time that one license has worked for both.

One hangup for the iOS apps, according to sources, has been Apple’s desire for a cut of Microsoft’s overall Office subscription revenue. The dispute has also affected iOS apps tied to Microsoft’s SkyDrive storage service, because Microsoft sells paid upgrades and has balked at offering Apple the option of a 30 percent cut.

A Microsoft representative declined comment, and an Apple representative was not immediately available for comment.

Although Word and Excel remain no-shows on the iPhone and iPad, Microsoft has released a few Office-related apps, including an iOS version of its OneNote note-taking app.

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