Rumor: Office iPad version coming earlier than ‘Metro’ version

A version of Office for the iPad is coming soon, probably even earlier than the version of Office for the touch interface of Windows 8. At least that’s what an American Microsoft watcher claims. It is still unclear when both versions will be released.

According to Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who will soon be replaced by Satya Nadella, has given permission to release the iPad version of Office once the app is ready. The app is still being developed, says Foley. It was suggested that Microsoft might have pulled the plug on the app.

The iPad version may come in the first half of this year; previously the app was thought to be coming in the fall. With that, the iPad version may be earlier than the version of Office for Windows 8’s touch interface, formerly known as the Metro interface.

It is still unclear under what conditions users will be able to access the Office app for the iPad. On iPhone and Android, users must have an Office 365 subscription to use the app; Foley understands that the iPad probably also requires a subscription.