Microsoft is in the process of developing versions of two of its signature applications for the Apple iPad, signaling that the company means to keep its promise to be more open to creating apps for rival operating systems.
At a Gartner event, Outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer was asked about the possibility of Office coming to the iPad. He responded with “Word, PowerPoint and Excel are all 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 or mice. iPad will be picked up when we do what I would call not just a touch-enabled, but a touch-first user interface. That is in progress…for both Windows 8 and other platforms.”
This seems to indicate that the iPad version of Office will be as full-featured as the Windows RT one. However, it may require a subscription to Office 365 to use… the simplified version of Office for the iPhone that was released earlier this year does.
Remote Desktop, Too
Microsoft also announced today that it is going to introduce iOS and Android versions of its Remote Desktop application, which will allow the iPad to access Windows desktops and servers.
This is an enterprise application, with licensing going for $100 – $120 a year.