A leaked copy of Microsoft’s product roadmap suggests that non-Windows Phone users are going to have a very long wait if they want Office on their smartphones or tablets.
According to the document, seen by ZDNet, neither an iPhone/iPad nor an Android version of the Office suite of productivity tools — Word, Powerpoint and Excel — is scheduled for launch until October 2014.
Back in November 2012, the Verge reported that ‘Office Mobile’ apps for both platforms had already been developed and were expected to roll out for iOS in February this year and for Android in May.
The site had even obtained screenshots and claimed that the apps would enable users to view Office documents on the move but if they wanted further functionality, they would have to sign up for an Office 356 subscription — Microsoft’s new cloud-based approach to offering its most famous software products.
There is a feeling in the industry that Microsoft still believes that Office is such a ‘killer application’ that depriving other platforms of it will force consumers to dump their tablets and phones for Windows devices. However, the longer the company waits to launch its apps, the more competition it will face and new apps and services offering everything from word processing and inbox management to spreadsheet formatting appear in Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store every month.