Is Microsoft Following Google Into IPad App Land?
Google this week bought Quickoffice, a start-up that makes a set of applications for iPads and Android tablets that let consumers open and edit Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint files. Not the search giant’s sexiest acquisition, but, as The New York Times’s Bits blog notes: “Productivity apps are among the best sellers in the category of paid apps for the iPad.” Indeed, Quickoffice currently ranks seventh on that list in Apple’s iPad App Store. The buy also presents a interesting challenge for archrival Microsoft. As Bits notes, “If Microsoft couldn’t find compelling enough reasons to release its Office applications for the iPad, Google just gave it one.” Microsoft, for its part, is not without an iPad strategy, as the company is working on a version of its Office apps for Apple’s tablet, sources tell Bits.
Meanwhile, there have already been a number of reports about Office for the iPad, including one in The Daily in February, which suggested that some such service come launch within weeks. “That clearly did not happen, and Microsoft said at the time that the report in The Daily was based on ‘inaccurate rumors and speculation,’” Bits reminds us. “Those denials, though, appear to be related more to some of the fine details around the Office for iPad project, rather than its existence.”