Microsoft has already confirmed that a touch-based version of Office specifically aimed at Windows 8 and 8.1 devices is on its way, but the company has until now refused to provide any details as to when adopters of the new operating systems could get their hands on this particular productivity suite flavor.
John Case, a Microsoft Office corporate vice president for marketing, said in an interview with GeekWire that a new generation of Office apps is indeed coming, but again avoided to disclose information regarding the release date.
The recently-launched OneNote app for Windows 8.1 gives us a hint into the next Office suite, Case explained, which again could be a sign that the touch-based version of the productivity suite is about to see daylight.
“We’ll do more things like that, that will be about different form factors and different applications,” he was quoted as saying. “The Office suite has been very consistent. We haven’t had new apps in a long time. We’ll have some new app investments coming. New ways of creating content, new ways of storing and organizing content.”
At the same time, the Microsoft official has also added that the new generation of apps to be included in the Office productivity suite could be different from Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, although again he refused to provide any specifics on the changes.
“As much we love Word, Excel and PowerPoint, there’s another generation of app experiences we want to enable. Some of it will feel like big stuff, and some will feel like small stuff. We want to let you create content in different ways that we think will be more personal for you,” he stated.
According to some previous reports, the Metro-based version of Office should be launched sometime this year, either in late spring or in early summer. What’s more, Redmond is also working to expand the platforms supported by the Office productivity suite, with some people close to the development process indicating that an iPad version is very close to receiving the green light for launch.
It turns out that the iPad could see daylight even before the Windows 8 version of the tool, which is a bit surprising given the fact that Microsoft still struggles to bring more users to its modern operating system.
As usual, the company has refused to comment on recent reports and provide more information on future Office updates, so we’ll just have to wait and see what’s coming for Windows 8 users.