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Is Microsoft Office coming to Apple's iPad?

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Microsoft on the iPad: So far there isn't much of that happening outside of the Bing app.

But that might change next year, according to a report from the Daily, News Corp.'s e-magazine delivered each day to Apple's iPad.

According to some unnamed sources of the Daily writer Matt Hickey, Microsoft is prepping iPad-versions of its Office suite of software.

"With the iPad making up over 80 percent of the tablet market and millions of people worldwide using Office, that could mean big bucks for the tech giant based in Redmond, Wash.," Hickey wrote in his report. "In addition to an iPad-ready version, a new edition of Office is expected for OS X Lion sometime next year."

Microsoft's current Office for Mac offering, Office 2011, lacks the ability to take advantage of new features found in Mac OS X Lion. "A Lion version, likely available via the Mac App Store, is widely expected," the report said. "Windows, too, is due for an update, with Office 2012 currently in beta form."

Currently, Apple has a few Office-like productivity apps of its own, with its iWork suite (Pages, Numbers and Keynote) on the Mac, iPhone/iPod Touch and iPad.

If Microsoft were to challenge iWork on the iPad (and maybe even iPhone) with Office, apps for Word, Excel and PowerPoint could go head-to-head with Apple's own productivity apps.

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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Twitter.com/nateog

Photo: Apple's Numbers app for the iPad. Credit: Nathan Olivarez-Giles / Los Angeles Times

 
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