Can your iPad finally replace your laptop? After months of unofficial rumors mixed with official silence, it appears as though Microsoft’s seminal Office software may finally make an appearance on Android and iOS sometime in early 2013.
A Microsoft product manager and PR team in the Czech Republic accidentally spilled the beans about the plans back at the beginning of October. At the time, the company’s headquarters said “The information shared by our Czech Republic subsidiary is not accurate,” but several sources have confirmed to The Verge that Office Mobile is coming to iOS in February or March — matching the Czech team’s claims — and landing on Android in May.
Don’t expect the same full-blown Office 2013 experience found on Windows RT tablets like Microsoft’s own Surface slate, however. The sources say that a free version of Office Mobile offers basic document reading capabilities and will be tied to a Microsoft account. Springing for an Office 365 account reportedly opens up basic editing capabilities for those documents; think Office Web Apps, not Office proper.
The desktop version of Office 2013 is also slated to arrive sometime in the first quarter of next year, hence its name. If The Verge’s information — including the screenshot above — proves accurate, we wouldn’t be surprised to see the desktop and iOS versions launch simultaneously. Enterprise users and early Windows RT tablet adopters already have access to the final RTM version of the productivity software.