Microsoft  outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer recently confirmed that Office will indeed be coming to Apple's iPad. It's just a matter of time. Once Microsoft completes a "touch-first user interface," the flagship productivity suite will eventually be released on iOS. Microsoft has created touch-compatible versions for its own platform, but has yet to make a fully touch-optimized version.

Tablet adoption among enterprise users continues to rise, and Apple is playing a large role. Microsoft needs to address the needs of these tablet users, and it can't properly do so unless it puts Office on the iPad. But that will strengthen Apple's platform, which Microsoft doesn't necessarily want to do, either.

Earlier this year, Microsoft also released Office on the iPhone, except it was only available to Office 365 subscribers. That strategic decision effectively segments the market and smartly allows Microsoft to continue targeting Office's core enterprise users while mostly disregarding the consumer segment.


On the consumer side, Apple has now made iWork for iOS free, much like Google has done with QuickOffice. That will remove any pricing power that Microsoft was hoping to wield on the consumer level.

In this segment of Tech Teardown, Erin Kennedy discusses Microsoft's Office plans for iPad with Evan Niu, CFA. 

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The article It's Official: Microsoft Will Release Office for iPad originally appeared on Fool.com.

Erin Kennedy owns shares of Apple. Evan Niu, CFA, owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool recommends Apple and Google. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Google, and Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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