We have been long hearing rumors about Microsoft releasing an Office version for iPad, iPhone and even Android based devices, but so far any such thing has not materialized. Microsoft has denied such news but still there are various tech sources that are claiming that such a thing would certainly happen in near future. According to the unknown sources form Office sales team, the iPad version of the software would be announced by Microsoft during the SharePoint conference in November.
Microsoft, on the other hand, might have a few reservations about such a release. The company would launch Windows 8 in October which would be the first version of Windows to run solely on ARM based tablets. With such a launch, Microsoft would be in direct competition with Apple since Apple is the king of tablets market. Microsoft would certainly not like to release anything that would further improve the position of Apple and the release of Office for iPad would do just that. Although Office for iPad would generate a stable revenue stream, it can also result in the destruction of new Windows RT, Microsoft’s first true venture into tablets computing.
A clear fact is that the launch of Office for Apple App Store would result in 30 percent cut for Apple and hence would clearly benefit Apple. Besides, Microsoft also intends to make the next-generation Office compatible with the Cloud services, and iCloud service seems to be an inevitable obstacle. Microsoft wants to synchronize the desktop files with cloud based SkyDrive, but SkyDrive already exists for an application for the iPad. In the end, it might be difficult, if not impossible, for Microsoft to circumvent iCloud altogether and force its own option. This hurdle is certainly something that can prevent Microsoft from launching the iPad version of Office.
Apple would not be able to do anything effective if Microsoft decides to undercut Apple and bring Office to a rival platform. But if Microsoft takes it to Apple App Store and is vetoed by Apple, it would be an anti-competitive move and Apple would certainly not like to get entangled in another anti-trust lawsuit, since it is already facing such a lawsuit regarding the prices of the eBooks. Anyways, hopefully the situation would be clear within the next few months and we would find out whether Office is coming to iPad or not.