Ballmer Hints At Metro Office Coming To Windows, iPad, & Android

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, speaking at the Gartner conference in Orlando, hinted about the future of Office.  As a ‘Devices & Services’ company it only makes sense that Office would be on multiple platforms.  However, a touch optimized version of Office would likely hit Windows devices first (i.e. Surface etc) and later on to other platforms, iPad & Android tablets.  Use of Office on an iPad will most likely require an Office 365 subscription. 

“Word, PowerPoint and Excel are all sort of authoring tools. They are optimized for use with keyboards and mice. The last time I checked, the iPad didn’t have a paradigm for keyboard and mice,” Ballmer said. “So iPad will be picked up when we do what I would call not just a touch-enabled but a touch-first user interface for Word, Excel and PowerPoint.”

The touch-first interface of those programs “is in progress, for both Windows 8 and other platforms,” Ballmer said, adding, “It is definitively, 100 percent in progress.”

 
“The truth of the matter is, our devices carry our services, and our services will be available on a number of people’s devices. And I think the order is important.“
 
 
The next version of Office is codenamed Gemini as will be unveiled sometime next year.
 
Source: GeekWire

About the author  ⁄ Suril Amin

Suril is a scientist, journalist and obsessive Microsoft observer. He holds an advanced degree in Biotechnology with minors in Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Molecular Biology. Send him tips on twitter: http://www.twitter.com/surilamin

  • Yuan Taizong

    Microsoft Office Mobile was introduced in 2000, that’s 13 years ago, they’ve had Windows Mobile 6.5 and Windows Phone 7 being optimized for touch-handsets, Windows Phone 8 includes Microsoft Office Mobile 2013 with Microsoft OneNote Mobile, Microsoft Word Mobile, Microsoft Excel Mobile and Microsoft PowerPoint Mobile ¿how are these not friendly for touch? Windows Phone 8 already has mobile-style and metro-style versions of Microsoft Office, Microsoft Office 365 (formerly a part of Microsoft Office Live) and Microsoft Office Mobile is completely optimized for touch, you can find Microsoft OneNote Mobile, Microsoft Lync and Microsoft SharePoint on mobile devices today, this isn’t some radical idea about the future, this is something Microsoft should’ve offered yesterday.

  • coip

    Putting Office on iPads and Android tablets would hinder adoption of Windows 8/RT tablets. Dumb move.

    • rjmlive

      But complete the saturation of their biggest cash cow Office, eliminating literally every other option on the planet completely. People will have to go out of their way to not pay for Office. Most gladly pay for Office.

    • Guest

      Depends on how it’s done. But little choice really. Those platforms now have too much volume and momentum to ignore entirely. If MS does, they risk erosion of the Office franchise overall. And that, combined with the existing decline in Windows, would not be an attractive future.

    • Cruncher

      No, not neccesarily. The long history of touch based office products from Microsoft teaches us, that this will be a heavily restricted and dumbed downd version. Basically a teaser to buy a “real tablet” running Windows8/RT:)
      Honestly i cannot think of any halfway complex desktop application with a faithful conversion to mobile.

    • Duk3togo

      Office has existed on Mac for years yet it hasn’t made a dent on the PC market. If done right MS has a money maker all around.

    • koenshaku

      Well it will require an Office 365 subscription which is basically like Adobe making a touch photoshop and saying you have to use Adobe CC to use it on your ipad. I think that entire model is more of a corporate oriented model and will go over most consumers heads. I don’t like subscriptions and I wouldn’t rent office or Adobe for businesses however the model makes sense.

      • jimski27

        Most people have multiple devices today. And if theY don’t, they have family or friends that do. The Office 365 Subscription is the best thing I ever did. If you use any of the “other” Office apps like; Access, Publisher and Outlook, the savings are huge. I am using 4 of my 5 licenses on my home, office and nephew’s PC. So $25/year for 7 top Office programs, always updated, and available anywhere. How can you not like that.