If you actually believe that there is any such thing as a leak from Microsoft, then the most recent one should annoy quite a lot of people. It seems that according to a leaked roadmap, Office for iOS and Android won’t be available until the fall of next year.
Office For iOS, Android?
That is if there actually is an Office app. Although there have been rumors of such an app for well over a year now, Microsoft has never official confirmed it, but neither has it denied it, which in itself is telling.
This latest leak comes via by ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley, who says she has seen a leaked roadmap and that there is no sign of either iOS or Android apps until at least late next year. The roadmap also shows that Outlook for RT may be a long way down the road as well.
The information is contained in a roadmap for Microsoft Gemini releases -- a wave of Office releases over the next two years that will be aligned with Windows Blue and come with updated versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote.
The roadmap, she says, kicks off with Gemini wave 1.0 that will contain ‘Blue’ versions of these apps that will be more touch-centric and will work on Windows 8 and Windows RT and are due in October.
It also points to the v1.5 releases, which are due April 2014, when Microsoft will release the next version of Mac Office and updates for Office for Windows Phone.
Office iOS, Android
It has been clear for some time that Microsoft has been trying to push people to subscription-based purchasing of Office and that these apps are seen as part of that strategy.
If that is the case and Apple and Microsoft are squabbling over a pricing cut here as they did over SkyDrive (and which was only resolved in the last week), then this kind of delay could be explained.
Some suggest that the delay is to give Windows tablets and RT time to build up a market share, although this appears a bit risky given that there is no guarantee that it will ever build up this market in the way its competitors have.
There is also the fact that it is probable -- at least at the moment -- that users of Office on tablets or mobiles are only looking to edit documents, in which case there are other ways of doing this than waiting for an app from Microsoft that could be over a year away.
But then it may also be that the leak was to test the market’s reaction. If what is being said around the Web is anything to go by, then the strategy is not a good or popular one.