March 18th 2014
By Mike Flaminio
Tom Warren for The Verge:
The software maker has been inviting members of the media to a special cloud- and mobile-focused event in San Francisco on March 27th. Nadella is expected to discuss Microsoft's "mobile first, cloud first" strategy, and there will be some major news ahead of the company's Build conference in early April. Sources familiar with Microsoft's plans tell The Verge that the event will mark the introduction of Office for iPad.
Like the iPhone version, Office for iPad is expected to require a Office 365 subscription. It's expected to include Word, PowerPoint, and Excel apps. This will be particularly useful for business/enterprise iPad users who are either already using 365 or considering a migration.
If this happens, it will be interesting to hear the status of Office for Microsoft's own Surface Pro tablet. It's rumored the Surface Pro version is months out and there was speculation Microsoft would hold back the iPad version. If Microsoft releases an iPad version ahead of its own platform, that could be a blow to the Surface Pro. It's not obvious from Microsoft's marketing, but confusingly, Office is available for Surface tablets running Windows RT, but not Surface Pro tablets running Windows 8. Office compatibility has been a chief marketing point in selling the Windows RT-based tablets.