Microsoft is reportedly “actively working” on bringing a version of its Office suite to the iPad, challenging Apple’s own Pages, Numbers and Keynote apps. Individual titles in the iPad Office package have not been confirmed, but are expected to sell for around $10 apiece sources tell The Daily; the likelihood is that Word, Excel and PowerPoint will all make the jump to the iOS tablet.
It’s not the first time we’ve heard talk of Microsoft looking to the iPad for its next big Office push, though the company isn’t short on iOS software currently. So far, though, only Windows-based tablets have been able to run Office, leaving iPad owners to pick up the iWork bundle instead; Apple pushed those apps out to the iPhone and iPod touch back in May.
A focus on tablet content creation is something Microsoft and its partners seem to be slowly waking up to. CEO Steve Ballmer confirmed the company’s engineers were looking at how Office could be reworked in the Metro style of Windows 8 during Build 2011 earlier in the year, while NVIDIA’s president argued that an Office build for ARM-based Windows 8 tablets and notebooks would be “the killer app” for the platform.
Still, with the iPad still dominating tablet sales, it makes a lot of sense for Microsoft to focus on tablets outside of its own fold, at least initially. No release date for the iOS suite has been suggested at this stage.