There is indeed an iPad version of Microsoft Office coming down the pike, but the company is initially saving that touch-friendly experience for its own Windows devices.
Speaking at the Gartner Symposium ITXPO in Orlando,Fla., the outgoing Microsoft CEO revealed the company's "in progress" plans for a "touch first interface," but has no plans to make it available first on a competing platform.
"iPad will be picked up when there's a touch-first user interface," Ballmer remarked to conference attendees, suggesting that Office for Windows will be where the new version will make its premiere.
According to Microsoft insiders, that sentiment appears to have been echoed by Chief Operating Officer B. Kevin Turner, who recently proclaimed the company's intention to "own the productivity experience across all devices."
That's certainly not the case just yet, with Office restricted to an iPhone-only app that requires an annual subscription to use - despite persistent leaks and rumors that an iPad version actually does exist.
Microsoft Executive Vice President, Applications and Services Qi Lu also confirmed "touch-first versions of our core apps in the Office suite" during a recent meeting with analysts.
For now, "touch-first" appears to also mean "Windows first," but Microsoft isn't giving any indication of how soon that initiative might land in the waiting hands (and fingers) of users.
- Check out our full review of Apple's latest iOS 7 operating system!