Microsoft will make its Office software suite available to mobile devices running Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android in 2013, according to reports in The Verge.
The reports state that Microsoft plans plans to enable users to access Office branded mobile versions of Word, PowerPoint and Excel. The Apple iOS and Android apps will be free to download and will provide basic document viewing functionality to all users. Access to a premium version of Office will require a Microsoft Office 365 account.
The Verge adds Microsoft will sell Office 365 subscriptions as in-app purchases, although sources indicate the mobile versions will not replicate all the features included in the desktop version.
Microsoft is expected to roll out Office for iOS in late February or early March of next year, with the Android version following in May.
Office apps for mobile platforms other than Microsoft’s Window 8 have been rumoured for months. Microsoft job postings in the summer advertised for Outlook and PowerPoint test team software engineers to “work very closely with the Development team on the design, implementation and testing of new feature work to be part of Microsoft’s next move on the Mac and on iOS.”
Last month, Microsoft product manager Petr Bobek told Czech site IHNED that native Office apps for iOS and Android are due in March, which was denied in a subsequent press release issued by Microsoft’s Czech division. “The information shared by our Czech subsidiary is not accurate,” a Microsoft U.S. spokesperson later said. “We do not have anything further to share at this time.”