Microsoft briefly showed off one of the applications in the upcoming version of Office designed for tablets today, but this shouldn’t be taken as a sign that the release of this software is imminent.
Last week was the debut of Office for iPad — a version of this suite of productivity apps that has been re-designed to run on computers controlled by their touchscreens rather than a mouse and keyboard. A Windows edition of this has yet to be released, forcing those with tablets like the Dell Venue 8 Pro and HP Omni10 to use the desktop version.
Microsoft did demo the touch-based version of Powerpoint at the Build developers’ conference this morning, and as expected this looks nearly identical to the iPad version.
However, the Powerpoint demo was cursory, and there was no sign of the the upcoming touch-enhanced versions of Word or Excel. This is almost certainly a sign that the release of a Modern/Metro version of Office is still many months away.
Opinions vary widly on why it is the iPad version was completed well before the Windows one… one would think Microsoft would have begun work on the Windows version about the same time it started work on Windows 8, and devoted more resources to developing a new version of Office for its own operating system than it did for a rival brand of tablets.