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Microsoft's Office for iPad team confirms updated Mac version is in development

Confirms long-awaited apps will share same code as Apple tablet versions
Wed Apr 09 2014, 16:23

Microsoft Office for Mac 2011THE TEAM BEHIND Microsoft Office for the iPad has confirmed that a version of Microsoft Office for Mac is "in development", but admitted it doesn't yet know when it will arrive.

The team behind Office for iPad, who also works on Microsoft's Mac applications, took to Reddit for an "ask me anything" (AMA) session, where it spilled some details about the long-awaited next version of Microsoft Office for Mac that the firm is expected to release later this year.

When asked about the application suite, Office for iPad engineer 'Schweib' admitted, "Yes, we are working on the next version of Office for the Mac." However, the team said that it does not know when the sequel to Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 will be released, replying to the question with this GIF.

However, the team also revealed during the AMA that Microsoft Office for Mac uses the same code as Microsoft's iPad applications, hinting that rumours of a release this year could be on the money.

"The code for Office for iPad and Office for Mac is shared, as the development platforms for both are very similar," Schweib added. "The iPad work required us to create an all-new [user interface (UI)] and to redesign the interface between UI and the internal logic. That work actually helps us with de-Carbonizing Office for the Mac, instead of delaying or hindering it. We're able to create new Cocoa UI on the Mac and tie it into the new logic interface now."

Of course, given their recent work, the team was most keen on talking about Microsoft Office for iPad, which last week hit 12 million downloads on the Apple tablet.

The team confirmed that Steve Ballmer was involved in Microsoft Office for iPad, and boasted that the Word, Excel and Powerpoint apps were approved by Apple on their first submission.

The team also addressed why the apps took so long develop, and quoted Steve Jobs to illustrate their point.

Han-yi Shaw, another Office for iPad employee said, "Since we were designing Office for iPad from a 'blank slate' so to speak, we wanted to take the time to deliver the highest possible quality Office experience that is fully optimized for the iPad. A wise man once said, 'Details matter, it's worth waiting to get it right.' That rings true for how we thought about it."

During the AMA, the team also revealed that Microsoft is working on adding printing options to Microsoft Office for iPad. µ


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