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Sick of the myriad of half-baked office substitutes for Android and iOS devices? Take heart, tech geek lawyer: Microsoft is finally coming to the rescue.
According to a ZDnet, a leaked internal Microsoft Office roadmap shows that Office for iOS and Android is set for release in October 2014. Before it arrives to those devices, however, Office will be updated for Windows Blue, Mac OS, and Windows RT. The full schedule is:
Yep. You'll finally have the option of running Microsoft Office on your iPad, which could finally quell the final reservations of many professions of tablets' inability to be as useful as laptops. Seriously, besides existing research apps, Internet access, and an office suite, what more do you need?
Then again - 2014? We're already fallen truly, madly, and deeply in love with OfficeSuite Pro, which has the standard document editing features and, to our delight, was actually able to open massive 100 page documents without crashing (unlike every other competitor).
By the end of next year, we expect all of the mobile office suites to get even better. And the biggest obstacle to beating Microsoft software in the past was forcing users to adopt and learn a new platform. If Microsoft Office for iOS/Android isn't coming until late next year, might that simply be a little too late?
With that sort of timeframe, it better be, far and away, the best office suite out there. Otherwise, if users have to switch to a less functional Office Mobile after already learning another company's alternative, how many will be willing to put that much effort in?
One final note: we really hope last year's rumors of forcing paid subscriptions prove to be false, but at this point, we wouldn't be surprised. With Office 2013 and Office 365, Microsoft has half-implemented a subscription model for the desktop environment. The former carries a one-time $140 fee for one computer. The latter is $100 per year for five computers.
We wouldn't be surprised to see Microsoft go all-in on the subscription model in the near future, including mobile software. If there is a monthly or yearly toll to be paid, that gives users even less incentive to try the iOS and Android Office apps.