New Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is reportedly about to reveal Office for the iPad.
Invitations to an event at which Nadella will appear on March 27th have started to land on reporters' desks around the USA, and favoured outlets like the WSJ-refugee-founded Re|Code and Reuters appear to be receiving pre-event whispers to the effect that the promised “news related to the intersection of cloud and mobile” will be Office for iPad.
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If so, it's an interesting announcement for the new CEO to make.
On the one hand, Microsoft is rather late to the iParty. Announcing office for Apple's market-leading slab could therefore be seen as Nadella continuing in Microsoft's recent tradition of being a follower, not a leader. That Apple gives away its iLife and iWork apps would also make an announcement of Office on iPad somewhat anticlimactic, as there would likely be very little upside in making the suite available on iOS.
A kinder view could suggest that Nadella announcing Office for the iPad is a sign of a new commitment to taking Microsoft wherever users want to go, rather than being doctrinaire about ecosystems.
The Reg suspects Office isn't all Nadella will discuss, not least because a new CEO's first major announcement surely needs to be more than a product port backed by existing cloud services.
Theorists will do well to note that Microsoft's “Build” conference kicks off a few days after the March 27th event at which Nadella will speak. It seems safe to guess the new CEO Nadella will use the first to reveal something that will be made available to developers at the second, possibly targeting a northern summer launch to keep the pot boiling for a while. ®