Steve Ballmer Hints at iOS and Android Ports of Office

Pulkit Chandna

“We don’t have our heads in the sand,” outgoing CEO tells the financial community

As we reported earlier today, outgoing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on Thursday accused Google of being a monopoly and even admitted to having “discussed” the matter with competition authorities. But that wasn’t the only newsworthy bit to come out of Thursday’s event — Microsoft’s annual meeting with the financial community.

Ballmer is said to have strongly hinted at the possibility of Office getting ported over to iOS and Android at some point in the future. “We are working away on all the things you think we should be working away on," he told those in attendance, insisting: "We don't have our heads in the sand."

“Devices come with services, services have to find their way onto non-Microsoft devices and we certainly have to support that without religious bias, if you will,” he added.

While responding to a question on the subject, Qi Lu, executive vice president of Microsoft’s Applications and Services Group, also did not rule out an Office port for non-Windows platforms, but said there should be genuine customer interest and it should make perfect financial sense.

"We are working on touch-first versions for our core apps in the Office suite, Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and we will bring these apps to Windows devices, and also to other devices in ways that meets our customers' needs, and the customer value of those experiences, and in ways that economically make sense for Microsoft, and at a proper timetable. That's how we think about making these decisions as the question is being posed,” Lu said.

Make of that what you will, but veteran Microsoft watcher Paul Thurrott is convinced that “it’s happening” ; that Microsoft is not only working on an iOS version of Office, which he has “heard a ton about”, but also on a version compatible with Android.

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