Touch the Office

A new report from ZDNet, citing unnamed sources, claims that Microsoft plans to launch touch-first versions of its Office apps for Android devices before the company releases similar apps for the Modern UI used in Windows 8.

The report states that Microsoft is currently planning to offer Android versions of Word, PowerPoint and Excel sometime before the end of 2014. It adds that Microsoft may not offer the Windows 8-Modern UI versions of those same apps until the spring of 2015. That also happens to be the same time frame the company is planning to launch the next major version of Windows, which may or may not be called Windows 9.

Officially, Microsoft is not commenting on these reports. However, from a business standpoint, it certainly makes sense to launch Office apps for Android products ahead of Windows 8, since they have a much bigger share of the mobile market. The apps will likely be free to download and will be able to read documents, but a paid Office 365 subscription will almost certainly be needed to create and edit documents in those apps.

Microsoft made the Office apps for Apple's iPad available in late March and in May the company announced that the apps had been downloaded 27 million times since the launch. The company has not commented on if it will launch versions of the Office apps for the smaller iPhone, although there is a version for Android phones, which recently went free.



Reader comments

Touch-friendly version of Office reportedly headed to Android before Windows 8


I wonder if the windows fans are crying like android fans do when Google updates iPhone apps first.

Posted via Android Central App using an LG G2.

Yup. Just checked over at WPCentral, and they're having a fit. I don't blame them though. It makes no sense for Microsoft to ignore Metro office on their own platform. I personally don't care if it comes to Android or not, as I use Windows for my productivity OS anyways, but I am not sure why Microsoft would support Android first.

Got Nexus?

You should grow the fuck up. It's whining, plain and simple. People need to open their eyes and stop being fuckin fanboys.

The guys at Microsoft must be be masochists
First Google doesn't allow Microsoft to build a working client for win phone (by themselves not by google) and now they are building the entire office suite for tablet for android first then for windows?? wtf Microsoft?

Is this the full featured Office program that can be found on a laptop/desktop or is it "mobile" optimized? Meaning just yet another document editing app for Android missing lots of key features?

This. I want something I can run on an Android tablet, hook up a keyboard, and get some real work done. Not something that's just basically Notepad with some rich text options.

Posted via Android Central App

Exactly. I write novels and while Google Docs is good on the Chromebook it is still not even with Microsoft Word. If I could get full Word on my Nexus 7 I would drop Windows forever and never ever look back.

Sorry, but it you are using Microsoft Word to write novels, then you are doing it wrong. Especially since you said you "want to go to a Windows free life." ;)

Then get a Surface tablet. :) Seriously. Android or iOS are not good alternatives for convergence. The natural choice of operating system if you need a tablet which works like a full laptop when you connect a keyboard is to the full laptop OS.

I don't have a problem with Windows, I just know my usage patterns. Office is the only thing I really use on my laptop anymore. Makes more sense to bring over the one outlier than to have an entire device dedicated to it.
And on the rare occasion I need to get some REAL real work done, I can always RDP into a desktop.
Although, the Surface Pro 3 looks freakin' sweet.

I think it's kind of in between. Look at the iPad app for an example. It'll be better than the phone version, but obviously not as good as the desktop version. I would imagine it would resemble the functionality of Google docs on Android, but obviously better.

I don't have an iPad so I've been wondering about that. While I like my Chromebook I'd take a ten inch Android tablet and keyboard over it in a heartbeat if said tablet came with full featured Word.

I agree. I find Android way more functional than Chrome OS. I don't have an iPad either, but I've seen reviews on it and basically unless you're doing some complicated stuff like writing macros or whatever, you should probably be more than satisfied with Office for Android.

I use the iPad version on a daily basis, and while it's definitely not as full featured as desktop Office it's easily the best mobile office suite out there. I've got to give props to Microsoft for developing a GOOD touch office interface and still keeping all the core functionality There's stuff missing (don't expect to be able to mail merge, etc), but for reading, editing, reviewing, formatting they have it pretty spot-on.

I had a Venue 8 Pro for a few weeks running full Office 2013 and was pretty shocked how awkward it was to use with a touch interface (and touch improvements were a selling point of 2013 over 2010). Right now office on the iPad is a much better experience than office on a Windows 8/8.1 tablet. If the Android version is built after the iOS version that's not a bad thing. Office 2013 on a laptop may be the best office desktop office suite out there, but it doesn't scale well to tablets.

What's a key feature for you? Are you looking for format parity, change tracking, and the like or you concerned about deeper functionality like VBscripting, an extensive formula library, etc?

Track Changes is the main feature. Google Docs has that revision history but it's not the same. It's basically a poor man's version of Track Changes in that you have to flip between two documents and if you download to Word and make changes then upload back to Google Docs you won't see the revision history.

I found an Android app that has Track Changes that works exactly like Microsoft Word though, found it last night. Goodbye Microsoft! :) The app is called Office 2012: TextMaker.

Isn't Office already on Android? I have Microsoft Office Mobile on my phone already. Are these more fleshed-out versions of Office Mobile? That would be good, cuz the Excel version for Android is really lacking in capabilities, though it runs very smooth compared to some of the other competing apps.

I use Google docs personally but I don't do anything major and at work I use the office sweet (excel, word, blah blah) I think this is good for Microsoft and bad for its fans. Like when hangouts on iOS gets more features then on my moto x

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What Windows need to do is give an option to not only type onscreen but be able to handwrite using a stylus. With each handwritten word the software will understand what the word is and display the handwritten word in type. Underlining a word will underline in type etc. It'll make writing up documents more fun.