Android Likely To Get Touch-Friendly Office Before Windows

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Earlier today, ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley reported that the tablet-touch build of Office for Android will land before the touch-ready build for Windows. Yes, this is the real world.

Microsoft declined to comment. Keep in mind that Microsoft building an Office suite for Android tablets isn’t news. This is a timing issue.

Of course, Microsoft already offers an app for Android that includes Office capabilities, but Office Mobile — which existed for iOS before Office for iPad was released — is a smaller affair. A full suite of tablet-ready Office apps for Android will be a course correction.

In fact, an Android release before the Windows version is only surprising in the context of Microsoft’s larger platform support push due to the dismal lateness of a touch-build of Office for Windows. What happened?

Foley ties its tardiness to Windows 9, saying that an early 2015 release for touch-Office-for-Windows release could be reasonable, given that that timeframe is…

also is when Threshold, a ka “Windows 9″ is expected to hit. The timing isn’t likely coincidental, given Microsoft is believed to be building at least one Threshold SKU that won’t include a desktop. Such a SKU would require a version of Windows that doesn’t need the desktop/Win32 environment to run. That’s when the Metro-Style/Windows Store versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint become a necessity, not just a nicety.

Waiting that long would I think be surprising to the market.

Still, if that Office release is tied to Windows 9, and Office for iPad has already shipped the reasons to wait to release the code for Android fall to zero.