Shortly after The Daily published their apparently exclusive hands-on Office for iPad blurb, Microsoft told ZDNet's Mary-Jo Foley that the image circulated by The Daily was - in fact - a hoax. What's more interesting is what Microsoft didn't say. According to Foley, the Microsoft spokesperson would not comment on the actual existence of such a product, regardless of the image's validity.
But there's been mounting evidence that Office for iPad is real. Foley also found The Daily's Matt Hickey description of the alleged application curious, since according to Foley, the description matches elements from Microsoft's plans for Office 15 on Windows on ARM. More puzzling is The Daily's editor Peter Ha Twitter response to Foley, insisting Microsoft isn't being truthful, confirming someone from Microsoft "demoed" it to the team. Hmmm. What's going on here?
If Hickey's account can be called into question, perhaps so can Hickey's report that Android was not a contender for running the Office suite. But if it's true, that could well be a strategic move by Microsoft.
I don't see any reason why Microsoft shouldn't launch Office for iPad, so let's consider this a reality in the not-too-distant future. Office on iPad has the capability to make mobile device management solutions increasingly more relevant to business of all sizes, and thus, mark a sizable opportunity for VARs and MSPs that have been looking to expand their MDM offerings. Considering the recent trends in tablet sentiment, an official launch of Office for iPad (whenever it may be) could create a modest ripple in MDM demands.