Rumor: Microsoft Office for iPad Is Coming Soon

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Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) new CEO, Satya Nadella, will host his first Microsoft press conference next week, and sources who spoke to The Verge said Nadella will use that opportunity to make a huge announcement: Office is coming to iPad. Microsoft has historically resisted making its software compatible for rival Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) devices, but if the company wants Microsoft Office to remain go-to software for tasks in and out of the office, then it needs to make Office available on the most popular tablet.

The event will be focused on cloud and mobile, according to The Verge, and will be held in San Francisco on March 27. Nadella is focusing on cloud computing and mobile technology as important areas in which Microsoft needs to catch up with its competition.

Microsoft released a version of its ubiquitous Office software for the iPhone last summer, but Word, Excel, and PowerPoint would be much more useful on the bigger screen of a tablet. Given the poor performance of Microsoft’s Surface tablets and the popularity of Apple’s iPads, releasing a version of Office for iPad is the best way for the company to keep people loyal to using Office rather than searching for an alternative that can be accessed via their iPads.

A subscription to the $9.99-per-month cloud-based version of Office, called Office 365, will be needed to access the software, which sources told The Verge will be very similar to the iPhone version. The Office Mobile app for iPhone allows users to access and edit Powerpoint, Word, and Excel files on their phones while also having the option to store the files in Microsoft’s SkyDrive online storage. The app eliminates formatting issues between iPhone and PC or Mac computers, has a Resume Reading option so that you can find where you left off either on your phone or computer, and has SkyDrive to allow multiple people to collaborate on one document.

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