Microsoft Office to debut on Apple's iPad

(Photo: CEO Satya Nadella

Microsoft is expected to announce on March 27 that its Office app will be available on Apple's iPad. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella could make the announcement in San Francisco during the opening of the Macworld/iWorld conference, said media reports.

There is no guarantee that Office for the iPad will be for sale or available for download on March 27. Microsoft might simply make the announcement. Microsoft and Apple have not commented on the report, however.

Tech and Wall Street analysts believe Microsoft took this long overdue step to boost Windows visibility on tablets. They have long urged Microsoft to free Office from Windows and make the suite available on other platforms, especially the iPad. Microsoft has the potential to make billions from the deal.

On the other hand, there are analysts who believe that Office on the iPad might get a tepid reception because users have found other solutions such as Hop To in the absence of an official Office from Microsoft.

Many analysts feel that when Office on the iPad does hit the market, Microsoft will tie it to Office 365, just as it did the iPhone and Android versions of Office Mobile last summer. They believe that Office on the iPad will require an Office 365 subscription.

Office 365 is Microsoft's software-as-a-service program that charges consumers $70 to $100 annually. Businesses pay $150 to $364 per user per year to run the suite on one or more devices.

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