Steve Ballmer plays down Office for iPad speculation

Steve Ballmer plays down Office for iPad speculation
Will we ever see Microsoft Office on the iPad?

For the last couple of years, it's been a case of 'when' not 'if' Microsoft brings dedicated Office apps to the iPad, but bossman Steve Ballmer might have other ideas.

Despite numerous leaked screenshots and rumoured release dates, everyone is still waiting for the world's most famous productivity suite to hit Apple's tablet, and it looks like they'll be waiting a good while longer.

In an interview with Businessweek, the larger-than-life Microsoft CEO appeared almost affronted by a reporter who asked how the Office for iPad project was coming along.

He said: "I have nothing to say on that topic. We're very glad with the product, very happy with the product that we're putting in market."

Does it make sense?

Furthermore, Ballmer hinted that a release for the iPad wouldn't make sense at this time, despite the company optimising Office 2013 for Windows RT touchscreen tablets like the Microsoft Surface.

"It makes sense on the devices like the Mac and the PC. We have a product that we think makes a lot of sense," Ballmer said.

Ballmer also pointed out that users can do limited editing of Office documents through the iPad's web browser and refused to rule out the launch of dedicated apps in the future.

He added: "We do have a way for people always to get to Office through the browser, which is very important. And we'll see what we see in the future."

Prickly Steve

Ballmer's comments do seem a little prickly, but he's probably right to be coy about the possibility of Office coming to Apple's iPad, given the lukewarm commercial reception given to his own Surface RT tablet.

However, it does seem like Big Steve might have jumped out of the wrong side of the bed on the day Businessweek pointed the tape recorder in his general direction.

In the same interview he slapped down Dropbox, referring to the cloud storage company, with 100 million users, as a "little start-up."

Chris Smith

A technology journalist, writer and videographer of many magazines and websites including T3, Gadget Magazine and He specializes in applications for smartphones, tablets and handheld devices, with bylines also at The Guardian, WIRED, Trusted Reviews and Wareable. Chris is also the podcast host for The Liverpool Way. As well as tech and football, Chris is a pop-punk fan and enjoys the art of wrasslin'.