"But it's certainly going to be disappointing to folks devoted to their iPads," Silver said.
Microsoft has said that its Office Web Apps — a browser-based edition of the suite with watered-down versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote — offers iPad users a good alternative.
Carolina Milanesi, a Gartner analyst, found the timing of Friday's announcement interesting, coming days after Apple announced iWork for iCloud, which makes the Apple productivity suite available via browsers on Apple and Windows machines. "[That gives] iPad users a way to work their way from the iPad to the PC," Milanesi said via email.
Microsoft has native iPad applications for the Office components Lync, SkyDrive and OneNote.
Asked for comment about possible plans for a full Office edition for iPads, a Microsoft spokeswoman said via email: "We built Office Mobile for iPhone to ensure a great Office experience when using a small screen device, similar to Office Mobile on Windows Phone."
She reiterated the recommendation that iPad owners use Office Web Apps. "We have made lots of enhancements to Office Web Apps including an improved touch experience for tablet users."
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