Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has finally confirmed that a version of Office is in the works for the iPad. During a speaking engagement at a Gartner event in Florida, Ballmer said support for the iPad would be picked up once there is a touch first user interface which likely means, it’ll arrive after a Windows version is released.
The touch first user interface that Ballmer mentioned is already in progress, he said.
Rumors of Office for iPad date back to when the first tablet was launched in early 2010. The Daily, the now defunct iPad-only news app, reported in November 2011 that an app for the iPad was in the works and even provided photographic evidence. Microsoft at the time denied the accusations and said the story was based on inaccurate rumors and speculation.
A version of Office for iOS did arrive earlier this year but it was limited to the iPhone. The Office 365 app requires a subscription to the Office 365 service to use, however. It grants access to Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents while on the go. At the time, Microsoft suggested iPad users could use Office Web Apps via their web browser.
It is not known at this hour whether or not the iPad version will require an Office 365 subscription nor do we know exactly when it will be released. If previously leaked roadmaps are to be believed, however, Microsoft likely won’t get around to launching the app until late next year.