There has been a lot of speculation as to when Microsoft will release Office for iPad. The company’s suite of productivity applications, Word, Excel and PowerPoint in particular, are some of the most widely used productivity softwares around the world. There’s naturally going to be demand for an iPad version, given the insane amount of tablets Apple has moved in just under four years. Outgoing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer reiterated the company’s commitment to Office for iPad, but only “when there’s a touch first user interface.”

Currently the only recourse iPad users have with regards to Office is that they can use Office Web Apps through the browser. Ballmer says that the touch first interface for Office applications is currently “in progress,” and that the iPad will be picked up once the touch friendly version apparently makes its way over to Windows first. At a recent analyst meeting, Microsoft’s head of applications and services Qi Lu revealed that the company is indeed working on “touch first versions of our core apps in the Office suite,” which will be brought over to Windows devices. Other devices will be included as well “in ways that meet our customers’ needs.” It is not known right now if an Office 365 subscription will be required to use Office for iPad, it is also not known when Microsoft will ultimately release the touch friendly Office suite, for both Windows and other devices.

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