Office for Android, iOS pushed back to late 2014?

New apps for Windows slabs to come first

A new approach to endpoint data protection

Post-PC professionals who are hoping for a version of Microsoft Office for their Android or iOS fondleslabs may have to wait another year or more, if new information purportedly leaked from Redmond proves to be correct.

ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley reports that a confidential source has shown her what looks to be an authentic roadmap detailing the first few phases of "Gemini," the hush-hush project aimed at delivering the next major refresh of Office.

If that document is accurate, then Microsoft isn't planning to ship "iOS/Android support for Office" until fall of 2014, at the earliest.

That late release date is sure to disappoint eager Redmond-watchers, many of whom had been expecting the software giant to deliver mobile Office apps early this year. Some sources have even gone as far as to cite dates – March 2013 for iOS, they said, and May for Android.

Microsoft itself has remained mum on the matter, though it has confirmed to El Reg in the past that "Office will work across Windows Phone, iOS, and Android."

What that really means, however, nobody knows, and the phrase "iOS/Android support for Office" doesn't shed much light on the matter. Maybe Microsoft is developing full-fledged versions of Word, Excel, et al. that run on phones and tablets. Or maybe "support" just means stripped-down viewing apps for Office documents. It looks now like we won't find out until next year.

There is at least one major Office update due to arrive in 2013, however, assuming the leaked roadmap is correct. The first "wave" of Gemini will reportedly deliver Windows Store versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote for Windows 8 and Windows RT by this October.

These app-ified versions of the core Office components will be designed to augment the desktop versions, rather than replace them, and they will be more touch-centric than their full-grown cousins.

If the current version of the OneNote app found in the Windows Store is anything to go by, that means they'll offer only basic editing and viewing functionality, but they'll have clean, pared-down UIs that cater to poking and swiping – which is a good thing, given how lacking the desktop Office 2013 apps' touch controls are.

After that, the next wave of Gemini reportedly won't come until April 2014. That milestone is said to include a new version of Office for Mac – another good thing, since the last OS X version shipped wayyy back in October 2010 – and a refresh of Office for Windows Phone.

Another thing on the menu for April 2014 something called "Office RT," which is a bit mystifying, given that all Windows RT devices already come bundled with a version of Office 2013 for ARM. It's possible that Microsoft plans to add more components to this version of the suite, such as a much-needed Outlook client.

Only after all of this – which probably means October 2014 – will we finally see some kind of Office apps for iOS and Android, whatever form they will eventually take. Again, this assumes that the purported roadmap is indeed genuine and that it won't change (or hasn't already).

The Reg asked Microsoft whether it could confirm the roadmap and whether it was true that plans to deliver Office components for Android and iOS had been pushed back from an earlier release schedule. Just like Foley, we were told only, "We don't have any information to share about the next set of updates to Office." ®

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration

More from The Register

next story
PEAK LANDFILL: Why tablet gloom is good news for Windows users
Sinofsky's hybrid strategy looks dafter than ever
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Fiendishly complex password app extension ships for iOS 8
Just slip it in, won't hurt a bit, 1Password makers urge devs
Mozilla keeps its Beard, hopes anti-gay marriage troubles are now over
Plenty on new CEO's todo list – starting with Firefox's slipping grasp
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Cloudy CoreOS Linux distro declares itself production-ready
Lightweight, container-happy Linux gets first Stable release
prev story


7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?