Microsoft Office for iPad nearing launch

Rumours of Microsoft Office on the iPad have been doing the rounds for some time, but today we have a little more flesh to put on those bones.

The Daily is reporting that Microsoft Office for iPad will be submitted to the Apple App Store for approval some time soon, saying the design team has finished working on the project, but there's no precise date. 

In terms of user interface, it looks to be close to the existing OneNote iPad application, launched late in 2011, but with a touch of Metro about it and a snapshot of the opening screen shows familiar icons for the main Office apps.

Apparently Word, Excel and PowerPoint files can be created and edited, although it's not clear exactly how far things will go beyond creation and sharing, what other support you get or how it might integrate with online services. A Messenger icon is also present, suggesting you might be able to get live Messenger collaboration running on docs.

In news that will surely come as a blow for Android users, "sources close to the matter" are also cited as reporting that there is no Android version of MS Office in the works. 

We know that Microsoft is lining up to make various announcements at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona; the headlining act will be Windows 8 so we're not certain they'll muddy the waters by launching Microsoft Office for iPad at the same time. 

Of course, we'll keep our ears to the ground and update you if we hear anything more.

UPDATE: Well this story certainly caught the eye of many, including Microsoft who have moved to debunk the rumour via twitter. The Daily maintains that they were given a demo by someone at Microsoft.



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