SOFTWARE HOUSE Microsoft has run up the white flag and is developing its mobile Office suite for Android and IOS.
Sources close to The Verge have revealed that the company will release versions of the mobile Office software, which now is only available on Windows Phone 8, for Android and IOS in early 2013.
Dubbed Office Mobile, the app will be free and will allow Android and IOS users to view Microsoft Office documents - including all the old favourites such as Word, Powerpoint and Excel files - on their mobile devices while out and about.
However, like the Skydrive and Onenote apps, Office Mobile will require users to log in with a Microsoft account for basic viewing functionality and they will have to subscribe to Office365 in order to enable editing functions.
According to the sources, Microsoft will allow IOS and Android users to buy an Office365 subscription within the Office Mobile app if they wish, or will let organisations distribute codes to enable Office Mobile editing for users.
If the sources are correct, the Office Mobile app for IOS will arrive first in late February or early March next year, with an Android version appearing by May. Nevertheless, it's a little strange considering that Microsoft has been touting Office Mobile as a unique selling point of Windows Phone 8.
When we asked Microsoft about the plans it said it "wouldn't comment on rumour or speculation". µ