Microsoft short-timer Ballmer: Office coming to iPad when touch-first user interface is ready

“Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has revealed that the company is planning to bring Office to the iPad with a touch user interface,” Tom Warren reports for The Verge.

“Speaking at a Gartner event in Florida today, Ballmer said ‘iPad will be picked up when there’s a touch first user interface,'” Warren reports. “That touch first interface appears to be making its way to the Windows version of Office first, with the iPad edition to follow afterwards. Ballmer noted the touch first interface is ‘in progress.'”

Warren reports, “It’s unclear if Microsoft’s Office for iPad app will require an Office 365 subscription like the iPhone version, and when the company plans to introduce it.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: No rush.

The longer Microsoft dithers, the more people wake up to the fact that Office is not necessary. iPad is taking the enterprise by storm. No Microsoft Office needed. Take your time, dummies.MacDailyNews, April 10, 2013

Related articles:
NY Times’ Pogue: Microsoft’s Office Mobile for iPhone is very little, very late – June 19, 2013
Microsoft releases Office Mobile for iPhone via Apple App Store – June 14, 2013
Apple’s iOS continues to dominate the mobile enterprise – February 26, 2013
9 out of 10 businesses support Apple iPhones and iPads – February 6, 2013
Gartner: By 2014, Apple will be as accepted by enterprise IT as Microsoft is today – February 4, 2013
NetSuite CEO: Apple will become the model for the successful next-gen enterprise software company – January 10, 2013
Apple’s incursions into the enterprise begin to add up – December 13, 2012
Enterprises buying iPhones ‘in droves’: Here’s the tipping point – November 27, 2012
Apple Macs continue to invade the enterprise – September 5, 2012
Gartner: Apple Macs invading the Windows PC-dominated enterprise – June 6, 2012
Report: 6 of top 10 enterprise devices using Good Technology are iOS, 97% of tablets are iPad – April 26, 2012
Apple iPad in the enterprise: A videoconferencing dream machine – April 10, 2012
Demand for Apple’s new iPad has powerful impact on corporate market – March 13, 2012


  1. I am not a fan of Microsoft, and I switched to iWork some years ago. Recently, however, I have had cause to dig out my old version of Excel and Word; Excel to format sheets which require pagination (bank reconciliations) and Word to allow marked up edits which can be shared in a legal environment.

    Pages is nice enough to use, for simple things and pretty documents. Word, even after 5 years, is more capable and more intuitive for highly formatted documents. The ease of use surprised me. Numbers is, well, a toy.

    I hope Apple reveals a new iWork soon, with features which will make it useful in a business environment. Until then I am not deleting my ancient copy of Office.

    1. Keep your “ancient copy” of Office and guard it carefully, because this “touch-first user interface” sounds like another attempt (after the Windows 8 kludge) to force touchscreen laptops and desktops on existing Windows users.

      I’ve seen Word and Excel power users in action. They use their keyboards like a virtuoso pianist. They rarely even touch their mouse, and Microsoft’s going to tell them to “touch the screen first.” Microsoft has zero respect for its existing customer base.

      Microsoft can’t get rid of Steve Ballmer fast enough… He’s trying kill BOTH cash cows before he leaves.

    2. Fact is most business users never touch 90% of a program like Word so it is wrong to define that minority as being typical. As for intuitive after 20 years of struggling with the spaghetti that is Word that is the last word i would use for it with dead attempts to jazz up the interface only to go off in a different direction every few years and most menus for anything more complex hidden away one feels just to annoy the user. Im sure there is a decent usable program in there somewhere but it will never be revealed under Microsoft techie attitudes to its users.

    3. That’s funny, I have done the opposite. After years and years of writing and editing 25 page proposals, patents, and reports to the govt, I finally got fed up with Word destroying a document when I added the third graph, or picture.

      When Pages came out, I would write everything in it, then export to Word. If I got something in Word to edit, I stayed in Word, or imported it into Pages, then exported out.

      I use LibreOffice instead of Excel, because it has a sane interface and is just as powerful for technical calculations. I can always translate into/out of Excel except when the macros get hairy. Then I tell my clients to get a free copy of LO to see my work, or I print out PDFs to email them.

    4. This is true, I’ve not implemented Numbers in my business, because it’s basically a toy. I agree, most of the people don’t use excel to the limit, but there are some of us who do need it.
      Until then…

  2. Take your time M$. Don’t rush it out the door too soon. Personally I prefer Apple’s Office Package. It works for me and that’s good enough. Hey Ballmer, when in the hell are you leaving M$?, oh I’m sorry I was hoping you would stay CEO for a long time. LMBO

    1. But. Apply needs to hurry up with a new, improved and feature-rich version of iWork or it risks losing out to Microsoft. Apple could lock down mobile office suites if it would get a moe on a new iWork for Mac and iOS. Free is only good for so much; eventually there are features needed that are very much lacking in the iOS versions.

  3. The only part in the office suite worth anything is EXCEL.

    before anyone says NUMBERS is better, it isn’t. imo, Excel is the true and unassuming crown jewel for MS

  4. Hey what’s this crazy ‘touch first interface’ all about? It sounds so neato & modern. I can’t wait until there are ‘touch’ capable devices to take advantage of this major new leap in technology . Can you imagine one day using a touch device and with Word on it?? Wow. Balmer is a visionary. So ahead of the curve on this touch thingy. Hopefully Apple will come out with their own touch interface.

  5. After the $900 million surface write off that put a shit stain the size of Nebraska in Ballmer’s underwear, one would have thought that they would put priority in getting this out to the best Eco system that is the App Store ASAP to make money and spread their software. Typical MicroSHIT, getting priorities all wrong

  6. No thanks, Pages is just fine for my needs. Plus, if I get a Word document, I can open it in Pages. Not to mention, Apple is now giving it away. Microsoft can keep their bloated, 95% never used features POS down the road. Why is Monkey Boy still making key decisions? Shouldn’t he be hiding in retirement somewhere, keeping his shame from public view. Uncle Festor needs to just go away.

    1. I have had Pages open Word docs (I get them from every part of Europe in endless versions) that Word itself cant open, actually had one this morning from Poland. Rarely if ever had to do something with Word that Pages could not do and in some cases it could do it better, for example butting up pics to the edge which Word simply refused to do without leaving a narrow white strip even though it was set to 0.

  7. Love it: target a niche market first (Windows 8) and then later expand into the major market of iPad. MS is saying either they are clueless or they don’t feel up to tackling the iPad app space until they have a smaller market under their belt.

  8. As an ex-MS employee it blows my mind that MS could release a touch-enabled device that Office DOESN’t support. That IE doesn’t support. That doesn’t support the Outlook rich client on Windows RT. Are you serious? WTF?!

    Rome is burning and you fools are fiddling.

  9. Our biggest issue at work has been figuring out what to do with the iPad.

    Everyone wants one but no one can really figure out it fits in their work flow.

    Until it becomes a content creation device vs. a consumption device its only going to go so far.

    The only place it has really worked well for us is for people in the field that just need to submit a report on a website with fields you fill in.

    1. I would have to say that you have never really used an iPad from 1st gen to now. I have been using it as a “content creation” device since I bought my first one and made presentations to clients with Keynote and video presentations. Then creating contracts to complete the negotiations. Hmmm, maybe I am just not aware of how feature rich content creation will be with a WindBlows product. How foolish of me.

      Hoo roo

      1. Sounds like we work in two very different industries.

        My business got on board with the iPad2 right after it launched. Its been most effective in 2 places for us. Basic data entry and presentations.

        It has shined like gold in the field. Put even a minimal case on it and it will take at least 3 times the abuse of any pc laptop short of a toughbook.

        For the majority of enterprise work however from HR to Corp Finance it ends up lacking in its current state in some way that stops the adoption.

        That has been my experience.

        1. You do realize you can use a Bluetooth keyboard with an iPad? And now with the advent of iOS 7, you can use a mouse too. Wasn’t that supposed to be the big advantage of Microsoft’s tablet? If people really need to do heavy duty creation, than use an MacBook Air or a desktop or laptop of choice, and use the iPad for for presenting your creations. Even the MS Tablet isn’t an ideal creation tool. This goes back to the Microsoft strategy of, Jack of all trades and master of none. How’s that kickstand working out for you?

          1. We aren’t using any windows 8 devices or MS surface devices.

            We don’t even run windows 8 on our desktop PCs.

            We have a mix of PCs on win7, mac pros on lion and some ipads.

            it works well for what we are doing. I see the iPad as more of a companion device in the enterprise than a replacement for desktop systems.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.