Microsoft released Office Touch version for Apple iPad few months back. The Office for iPad was a successful product with millions of downloads and users loved it. The most surprising part was that Microsoft released Office Touch version for iPad before Windows. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella then said that Office for iPad release was done as part of the new Cloud first, Mobile first strategy. In the code conference last week, he revealed that market share was also the reason it was released on iPad first. As per the reports from Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet, Office for Android may also come before Office Touch for Windows. Office Touch for Windows will get released in spring 2015 than fall 2014.
But now, it’s sounding like the new priority is getting the promised Android versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint to market. Microsoft officials said in March 2014 that the timing for the Android version of these touch-first apps wasn’t solid yet. I’m hearing, however, the plan is to make them available before the end of calendar 2014.
The other date in play here is when Microsoft plans to deliver the Metro-Style Gemini/WinRT versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint. My sources say the new plan is to make these commercially available in the spring of 2015. (I’m not clear if a preview/beta version of these Gemini apps will be out before year end.)
ZDNet also reported that Microsoft has plans to release a Windows SKU without the classic desktop. In that case, Office Touch availability becomes critical as users always expect productivity platform on Windows. Office team is also expected to update their desktop apps in 2015.