In June we tweeted about the report that there was still no release date for Microsoft Office on the iPad. While there’s still no official release date for it, a new report says Microsoft Office 2013 will be built for tablet users.

This Monday at a media event in San Francisco, Microsoft unveiled their new Office 2013 – or Office 15 – features, including a touch-friendly interface and access to apps and data for both desktop PCs and tablets.

The products comes in the traditional bundle with Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and the rest of the suite. However, Microsoft will also offer Office 365, a software-as-service version which includes the Office 2013 apps but differs to the traditional software as it will give users constant access to the very latest Office apps versions AND access to Microsoft’s SkyDrive cloud service.

Office 365 will also allow Office apps to be temporarily ‘streamed’ to tablets or desktops that run Windows 7 or 8, giving convenient on-the-road access to apps, documents, and custom settings. It will be available in three tiers:

•    Home Premium – This is the standard consumer version, which includes 20 GB additional SkyDrive storage and 60 monthly minutes on Skype
•    Small Business Premium – This version includes all of the above, and adds HD video conferencing, a network calendar setting, and email server capabilities.
•    ProPlus – The top version also includes all of the above two options, plus adds “advanced business capabilities and the flexibility to deploy and manage in the cloud”.

The deep integration of Microsoft’s SkyDrive cloud service in Office 2013 is definitely a bonus for customers using multiple desktop and mobile devices to access their documents. There are also new features in Office 2013 that prove it is aimed at mobile users specifically. Those include the Read Mode in Word, which re-flows the document’s text to fit the screen of the device it is read on and also offers easy flip navigation, turning text-heavy documents into documents made for e-books. Additionally, Resume Reading puts bookmarks into your current position in a document and even syncs this across all devices.

This mobile-user-friendliness also comes across in Excel, with features such as Flash Fill, which predicts when data of one column is getting entered into another and applies the data to the entire column automatically. Another feature is Quick Analysis, which offers a variety of chart, graph and format options based on your selected data. It then offers you a preview of the final result’s look, letting you decide which option to choose with a minimum of taps.

While the pricing and release date of both Office 2013 and Office 365 have yet to be announced, Windows 7 users can download a preview of Office 2013 from Microsoft.

Hopefully, soon iPad users will be able to try the Office 2013 software as well. If you need to rent iPads for your business or private use and want advice on which platforms are best to use for your documents before the release of Office on the iPad, be sure to contact one of our advisers today on +44 0207 749 7242 or 0207 749 7200 or email us on info@tablet-rentals.co.uk