Speculation about Microsoft Office’s arrival on iPad, iPhone and Android has been circulating the web for a while now, but the latest reports suggest that the productivity suite could finally be released on mobile devices early next year.
The Verge reports that ‘several sources close to Microsoft’s plans’ have said that ‘Office Mobile’ will launch in 2013. If their information is correct, the suite will be released in the form of free apps that will allow users to view their documents from Word, PowerPoint and Excel while out and about.
Office Mobile will require a Microsoft account, says The Verge, which will provide access to the basic viewing functionality of the new apps. A further Office 365 subscription will be required to enable editing functions, the report says.
iOS users will be able to buy an Office 365 subscription from within the app, or obtain a subscription code from the organisation they work for. Currently, Microsoft offers Office 365 subscriptions from $7.90 per month.
“The app will allow for basic editing, but we’re told this won’t go very far in attempting to replace regular full use of a desktop Office version,” reports The Verge.
It is expected that Microsoft could launch Office Mobile first on iOS in February, and later on Android in May. A company spokesperson reportedly told The Verge “Office will work across Windows Phone, iOS and Android.”
However, earlier this year, comments made by Microsoft’s Czech subsidiary about the arrival of Office on the iPad next year were dismissed by the company, which said: “The information shared by our Czech subsidiary is not accurate. We do not have anything further to say at this time.”