All indications are that Microsoft will release iOS and Android version of Office in early 2013 . It will be a program to use both the phone and the tablet but with some limitations. The basic version, which is free, will only see documents. To edit will need a subscription to Office 365-about $ 100 a year.
For now there is no official announcement so prices, features and dates may change but this is a product in the mobile world hovering nearly a year in the most unexpected moments. Everyone we spoke with Microsoft’s Office team as we knew it was just working on it.
The question was whether Microsoft would cancel it as a way to promote both its own Surface-tablet that comes with Office installed, but is a beta version to be released next year – as with Windows phones or finally yield to the pressure of a market increasingly interested in using other operating systems.
This seems a compromise. With Surface and Windows Phone 8 the user has access to a basic Office but may be sufficient in many cases. With Android and iOS will be no alternative but is an important annual disbursement. Microsoft believes playing with the assurance that Office is still the standard in the workplace and therefore companies and users who need to pay for it.
But the risk is that they are in a market that has learned to use alternative, whether the tools of Google or Apple or third-party solutions are. There are many professional users who require Excel, sure, but the situation is more complex with this program. The Office of Surface, for example, does not support macros-essential for many-and mobile versions have limited utility.Working in a large spreadsheet without mouse is difficult and not everyone feels comfortable doing. Basically, I do not think that Microsoft is going to lose a lot of coming late to the tablet market. Not because it is an interesting market but because the type of user who really needs Office will wait on them-and not as many as we suspect. Those who do not have long left.