Microsoft to unveil Office for iPad at press event on March 27 [Updated: Screenshot]

officeMicrosoft CEO Satya Nadella is hosting his first press event as Microsoft CEO next week in San Francisco. The March 27th event will focus on Microsoft’s new “mobile first, cloud first” strategy and will include an announcement about the rumored version of Office for the iPad, reports The Verge.

Recent information from ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley suggests Microsoft has been working hard on Office for the iPad and the app has been given the fast track, likely landing sometime in the first half of 2014. The latest report from The Verge corroborates this date and adds additional information about the functionality of the iPad app.

We understand the iPad variant of Office will be similar to the iPhone version, and will require an Office 365 subscription for editing. We’re told that document creation and editing is fully supported for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint apps. Overall, the interface and features are expected to be similar to the existing iPhone version.

The launch of Office for the iPad may be imminent, but some people believe the launch is a little too little, a little too late. The company may be losing up $2.5 billion a year in revenue to competing products like Google Drive, Quip and Evernote. Analysts believe customers are skipping Office and choosing these alternative document editing and syncing solutions instead. They will be hard pressed to switch when Office for the iPad finally debuts.

Office for the iPad or not, there will be a lot of excitement surrounding next week’s press event. It will be Nadella’s big debut as CEO. All eyes will be on his presentation and the direction he will lead Microsoft in the coming years. It also will set the stage for Microsoft’s upcoming Build developer conference, which begins on April 2nd. Microsoft is expected to use the conference next month to unveil Windows Phone 8.1, provide details on Windows 8.1 and hint at its plans for Windows 9.


Here’s a screenshot of Office for iPad, which was leaked by a Microsoft employee to MacRumors.

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