3 reasons Microsoft will release Office for the iPad

The long-running debate over whether Microsoft will release a version of Office for the iPad should soon be over. It's now clear that a version of Office for the iPad is on the way. Here are three reasons to expect it.

Free OneNote for all

Here's the biggest sign yet to expect Office for the iPad: The just-released free version of OneNote for the iPad and the Mac. OneNote is more than just a note-taking app. It's also a feeder into the greater Office ecosystem. To use it, you need a Microsoft ID. And it syncs by using Microsoft's OneDrive cloud-based storage-and-syncing service. Once people with iPads get used to Microsoft's ecosystem with OneNote, they'd be that much more likely to use Office. It's hard to know why else Microsoft is releasing OneNote for the iPad other than that Office is also on the way.

New bargain pricing for one PC or Mac and one tablet

Late last week Microsoft announced a cheaper Office 365 subscription that seems created specifically for people with iPads. An Office 365 subscription normally costs $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year for five devices, but the new Office 365 Personal will cost $6.99 a month, or $69.99 for a year. It's good for one PC or Mac and one tablet. It doesn't define what type of tablet, which seems a clear indication it's being priced for the iPad and a PC or Mac. Wes Miller of Directions on Microsoft told Computerworld:

"It's an obvious preface for [Office on the iPad]."

The board is itching for it

At least some members of the Microsoft board want Microsoft to release Office for the iPad and Android tablets. Notably, the newest board member, G. Mason Morfit, president of ValueAct Capital, has frequently said that Microsoft should do just that. I don't think he's alone. It's likely other board members will back him up as well.

Given all that, I'd be surprised if a version of Office for the iPad wasn't on the way. And I also wouldn't be surprised if it were sooner rather than later.

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