There has been a significant amount of discussion about Microsoft’s rumored plans to bring Office to iOS devices, and The Verge now weighs in with additional details and a few screenshots from the project. According to the report, Office Mobile for iOS and Android will launch in early 2013 but will not offer anything close a true Office experience, with the editing functionality it does offer coming through an Office 365 subscription.
Office Mobile will debut in the form of free apps that allow Android and iOS users to view Microsoft Office documents on the move. Like the existing SkyDrive and OneNote apps, Office Mobile will require a Microsoft account. On first launch, a Microsoft account will provide access to the basic viewing functionality in the apps. Word, PowerPoint, and Excel documents will all be supported, and edit functionality can be enabled with an Office 365 subscription.
Microsoft will allow iOS users to purchase an Office 365 subscription within the app, or let organizations distribute codes to enable Office Mobile editing for users. The apps will allow for basic editing, but we’re told this won’t go very far in attempting to replace regular full use of a desktop Office version.
The report indicates that Office Mobile for iOS is currently planned for launch in late February or early March, with the Android version following several months later.