According a report by Mary Jo Foley published on ZDNet, Microsoft is planning to launch touch-first versions of the Office applications for devices powered by Android. This is to happen before Microsoft releases the same applications for Windows gadgets.
The suite of Office is to hit the Android market by the end of the year while the Office applications for Windows will only be released around next spring. The time frame for the applications for the Modern User Interface (UI) for Windows 8 will interestingly coincide with the expected time period when the newest version of Windows is launched.
The applications should cover the usual Word, Powerpoint and Excel. It is expected that these applications will be free of charge but it won’t be surprising if a paid version is launched if one wants to be able to access the features of creating and editing documents.
Why is this step being taken by Microsoft? Simple – mass marketing. The aim is to get as many people using and knowing the Office applications in a short span of time. It’s no secret that Android users beat the numbers of Windows phone users by a landslide. This strategy worked with the mobile version of Office for the iPad. The apps were downloaded 12 million times the week Microsoft launched the Office Suite for iPad.
However, Microsoft has not come forward with any details or official comment on the matter. Right now, the only thing we can do is to wait and see when reps for the company share a statement about the company’s plans. From what we’re seeing though, Microsoft is being extremely smart in making an impact in the mobile industry and being a cross-platform software and services provider.