A Microsoft Office Suite for Android and iOS has been rumored for quite some time, but the Redmond company has largely been quiet regarding rumors of it making Office applications for competing mobile platforms. However, The Verge has now acquired through “several sources close to Microsoft’s plans” some leaked screenshots of Microsoft Office apps running on an iPhone, as well as information about an early 2013 release.
According to the report, the Office apps will have free versions, but they won’t do much more than allow users to view documents and presentations. A Microsoft login will be required, along with an Office 365 subscription, to unlock basic editing functionality in the apps. Even then, it is said that the apps won’t come close to either the desktop or Windows Phone 8 versions.
The apps are said to be scheduled for release in late February or early March of 2013 for the iOS version, and May for the Android version. Although there are a plethora of other mobile office applications such as Google Drive, Pages, Documents To Go, Quickoffice, and others, there are bound to be users who require or prefer Microsoft’s official offering. Still, even though the interface looks quite good, if it is as thin on features as this report suggests, I don’t expect it to be anywhere near as popular as other document editing options.