New Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is holding his first press event tomorrow during which he’s expected to announce a suite of Office applications for the iPad.
Making Office available for iPad would mark a significant shift away from Microsoft’s practice in the past few decades of centering its offerings on Windows. (A notable exception early on in Microsoft’s history was, ironically, Office for Mac, which Microsoft offered at a time when it was trying to expand its own user base.)
Even though some on the Office team have reportedly been working on an Office for iPad for years now, there was still the sentiment held by some at Microsoft that a touch-optimized Office for tablets should be launched on a Microsoft device first — for instance, its Surface tablet.
Breaking with that Microsoft-only approach would mark Nadella’s first big move in putting forward his “mobile first, cloud first” motto — a phrase he has repeatedly emphasized at company appearances and memos.
It is expected that the Office for iPad applications will require users to have a subscription to Office 365, Microsoft’s cloud-based Office service. The version many consumers use — Office 365 Home Premium — costs $10 a month.
Microsoft has not confirmed anything about what will be announced tomorrow, other than saying that the briefing focuses on “the intersection of cloud and mobile computing.”