Productivity could be about to get a whole lot better for iPad owners, as rumours are rife that Microsoft is developing a set of Office apps for the tablet.
The Daily reports that Microsoft is planning to bring its Office productivity suite to Apple’s portable tablet in 2012, bringing word processing with Word, Spreadsheets with Excel and Presentations with Powerpoint.
Office for iPad will work nicely with desktop versions of the same software, so users will be able to transfer files from their PC or Mac to the iPad and continue on the move. Office apps will also make opening associated files from email attachments much quicker and easier, as well as offering editing on the go.
Microsoft has already released a few apps for the iPad, though it has held back on its premium productivity suite, allowing various other apps to gain popularity in the meantime. Apple already offers iWork for the iPad, while lesser-known apps from third party developers, such as QuickOffice, have proved successful.
The Daily also reports that Microsoft’s Office apps for iPad will integrate with their Cloud-based Office 365 service, meaning that users will be able to save their documents online rather than on the tablet itself, and pick up from where they left off at home or in the office on PC or Mac.
If Microsoft aims to compete with Apple’s iWork offering for iPad users, we can expect Office for iPad to be priced competitively, most likely at around £9.99. The apps are expected to launch next year, though we’re currently unsure exactly when this will be.
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