Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, speaking at the Gartner conference in Orlando, hinted about the future of Office. As a ‘Devices & Services’ company it only makes sense that Office would be on multiple platforms. However, a touch optimized version of Office would likely hit Windows devices first (i.e. Surface etc) and later on to other platforms, iPad & Android tablets. Use of Office on an iPad will most likely require an Office 365 subscription.
“Word, PowerPoint and Excel are all sort of authoring tools. They are optimized for use with keyboards and mice. The last time I checked, the iPad didn’t have a paradigm for keyboard and mice,” Ballmer said. “So iPad will be picked up when we do what I would call not just a touch-enabled but a touch-first user interface for Word, Excel and PowerPoint.”
The touch-first interface of those programs “is in progress, for both Windows 8 and other platforms,” Ballmer said, adding, “It is definitively, 100 percent in progress.”