Microsoft Office for iOS launch pushed to 2014?

ZD Net reports that Microsoft has decided to launch its Office apps for iOS next year, instead of in the next few months, as had been widely expected. While the Redmond giant does have plans to expand the Office suite to mobile platforms like Android and iOS, 2014 is the earlier that they will see the light of the day. The reason cited for this is that Microsoft is currently more engrossed in launching Metro versions of its Office applications such as Word, Powerpoint and Excel (these apps can only work in the Desktop Mode of Windows 8, and have no Metro equivalent).




It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to claim that there is hardly any dearth of office productivity suites in the App Store for the various iOS devices around. But the fact that Microsoft Office is the de facto standard of office suites in the market has proved to be a major issue with all 3rd party replacements found in iOS (or Android for that matter). With Microsoft’s closely guarded proprietary formatting and design styles, few office suites (if any) give an absolutely authentic experience while working on an Office document. Missing macros, messed up fonts, broken text, jumbled up bullet points – you name it, and you will certainly get the bug in any 3rd party iOS office suite app. This is where Microsoft comes in, as its long rumored plans to spread the reach of its cash cow – the Office applications suite – had been expected to come to fruition this year on iOS, the platform of Microsoft’s fierce rival, Apple.



The rumored roadmap is as follows:


Gemini Wave 1.0 (October 2013): Windows Blue app updates

Gemini Wave 1.5 (April 2014): Office for Mac; Office RT refresh; Perceptive Pixel support; Windows Phone support refresh

Gemini Wave 2.0 (October 2014): Outlook RT; Office for iOS/Android



This news is bound to be bitterly disappointing for the hordes of iOS users who had been expecting Microsoft to launch viable office productivity solutions for their iPads and iPhones, as then they would become true replacements for full-fledged computers. As it turns out, the wait is going to stretch for quite a few months at the very least.





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