Rumor Mill: Microsoft expanding Office apps to Apple's iOS


Evidence continues to mount indicating Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) plans to bring its Office productivity suite to Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS mobile platform.

Recent Microsoft job postings discovered by 9to5Mac seek Outlook and PowerPoint test team software engineers to "work very closely with the Development team on the design, implementation and testing of new feature work to be part of Microsoft's next move on the Mac and on iOS." Both postings state "We build our own Mac and iOS products that present team members with unique technical challenges as well as exceptional opportunities for ownership, autonomy and professional growth."

Earlier this year, BGR reported Microsoft will expand Office to iOS and Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android tablets in November. BGR sources added that the Office for iPad user interface looks almost identical to a screenshot published by The Daily in February, although Microsoft publicly denied the screenshot's authenticity.

Last week, Microsoft confirmed it will extend remote access features integrated into the forthcoming Office 13 productivity suite to mobile devices running the company's own Windows Phone 8 operating system. Office 13, scheduled for release later this year, includes signature tools like Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote alongside new features like a touch interface and social networking-enabled collaboration tools. Office 13 also will leverage cloud storage and services like SkyDrive and SharePoint to make synced documents available to users across any connected device--for example, if a user opens a Word file on a Windows Phone smartphone, the software will recall which paragraph they were reading/editing when they last opened that document on another device.

Microsoft unveiled Windows Phone 8 last month. The mobile OS shares core features with the new Windows 8, which runs tablets and PCs as well as use of multi-core chipsets to bolster smartphone performance and optimize battery life, a choice of three screen resolutions, integration of VoIP and video chat, Near Field Communications support for mobile wallet and data transfer features; and a customizable start screen. Windows Phone 8 devices are expected later this year.

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