Purdy declined to be pinned down on a launch timeframe, but did assert that -- with the work Microsoft's already done to produce Office for the ARM processor-based Surface RT -- it could be ready to ship within six months of getting a green light from CEO Steve Ballmer and the corporation's board of directors.
"I think there's an opportunity to have something in the fourth quarter, if [Microsoft's leadership] gave it the go-ahead," Purdy said.
Not surprisingly, the company has dodged questions about its plans for iOS and Android. A month ago, Kurt DelBene, the president of the Office division, sidestepped a question about his iOS plans during a Morgan Stanley-hosted technology conference.
"We don't take it from the point of view of, 'Do we need to have the PC software that's running on a PC running on every single device?'" said DelBene at the time. "We look very much at what is the experience that we're looking to have on those devices."
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.