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Last Updated: October 15th, 2012

According to a Czech press release unearthed by The Verge, Microsoft may be readying native Office apps for Android. As of right now, the only programs that have mobile versions on the Play Store are OneNote and Lync. Otherwise known as "the ones very few people care about." If this report is to be believed, though, we may see native versions of the entire Office suite.

According to the Verge's translations, Microsoft said this:

"In addition to Windows, Office will be also available on other operating systems, Windows Phone, Windows RT, Mac OS, Android, iOS and Symbian"

Redmond, by way of the Czech Republic, also pointed out that there would be new versions of its Office Web Apps. The native mobile apps should be ready for consumer release by March 2013, on both phones and tablets. This puts the estimated date considerably later than the rumored November we've heard previously. No word on pricing yet, of course.

Hopefully, we'll see Microsoft actually come through on this. As official-sounding as it may be, announcements from a product manager in other countries are the kind of thing that are easy to backpedal. Still, it would make sense. The company already releases versions of its most popular Office programs for Mac and, as stated earlier, it's no stranger to Android development. Despite plenty of alternatives on the Play Store, there's still no clear winner in the productivity space. Yet, with Google having recently acquired QuickOffice, and the steady rollout of updates to Drive, Microsoft could be facing a substantial competitor if it leaves this market untapped. The only way to compete with free, after all, is to actually compete.

Update:

Microsoft has released a statement distancing itself from its Czech product manager's remarks:

The information shared by our Czech subsidiary is not accurate. We do not have anything further to share at this time.

So, maybe it's not for sure. Still, Microsoft officials have also said that Office Mobile will work cross-platform, so who knows whether the left or the right hand is correct in this case.

Source: IHNED via The Verge

Eric Ravenscraft
Eric is a snarky technophile with a taste for the unusual. When he's not obsessing about Android, you can usually find him obsessing about movies, psychology, or the perfect energy drink. Eric weaves his own special blend of snark, satire, and comedy into all his articles.

  • WilliamSurname

    Hopefully they'll get around to updating OneNote to a tablet form factor and allow alternative syncing methods while they're at it. It's a damn useful program on the PC and it's baffling that they could come up with something so worthless for Android.

    • Stephen Long

      How is it worthless on Android? I'm able to sync from office -> phone/tablet through Skydrive without issues. It seems pretty useful to me.

  • Samvith V Rao

    "the ones very few people care about. ?" Onenote is easily among the best note-taking syncing apps out there. Especially when your office blocks several similar note taking websites (evernote, etc.)

  • anzensepp1987

    Symbian?! WTF - this fact lets me doubt about the feature-richness and quality of the upcoming Apps.

  • hd

    Really hope they include an access app!

  • Asphyx

    Looks to me like MS is starting to realize that if they don't start supporting the mobile OS' they could lose thier desktop dominance. It's got to be obvious to them by now they are not going to dominate the mobile market anytime soon unless Windows8 takes off like a rocket and with thier track record of every other OS being a loser that's just not in the cards.

  • Freak4Dell

    I really hope this is true. I have yet to find a really good productivity suite on Android, and I've tried a bunch. I make do with what's out there now, but official Microsoft apps would be great.

    I would have thought Microsoft would have no intention of this, though, especially with Windows 8 tablets coming out.

  • Matthew Fry

    I would pay good money($20+) to see an honest to goodness usable and worthwhile office suite on my phone/tablet.

  • Sootie

    Almost all of office 365 is online so I would guess it would be an online only interface to the web versions with touch optimized controls. Still will be interesting to see what comes of it.

  • Mustafa A.K

    Yes please ! :D

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