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Is Microsoft Office For Android Tablets Ready For Beta Testing?

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Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), according to The Verge, may be ready to beta test a new version of Office, this one for Android tablets.

Sources told The Verge that Microsoft was preparing a private beta test for the Office for Android tablet version and that the company was accepting participants through a special pre-release program.

Sign Up … Soon?

However, when Benzinga went to the Pre-Release Programs page, this statement appeared:

“Thank you for your interest in Microsoft Office programs! We are in the process of updating our submission site and expect it to be back online soon. We will be accepting applications throughout the next several weeks and hope you return later in the week to submit your interest.”

Covering The Competition First

If the rumor does turn out to be true, the new release, expected later this year, would become the Android equivalent of Microsoft’s Office for the Apple iPad, which came out this past March.

Related: The Battle Is Over: Microsoft Windows 'Desktop' Beats 'Metro'

Interestingly, it would also mean Microsoft planned to release touch-friendly builds of Office for both iPad and Android ahead of a touch-oriented version for Windows. That software wasn’t expected to come out until early 2015.

It’s All About Google

Microsoft wants to beat Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) in the race to place its operating system everywhere – computers, tablets, smartphones, and other devices.

The idea has been to convince developers to write apps suitable for everything from handheld devices to full-size monitors. Both Microsoft and Google have presented similar “everywhere” visions and both are eager to get there first.

Is Google Winning?

Looking at the numbers, Google would appear to be ahead. Gartner forecast more than 1 billion Android devices would be sold this year, about three times the number of Windows or iOS/OS X devices on the market.

Related: 4 Ways Google's Android TV Can Take Over The Living Room

On the other hand, ZDNet suggested “maybe Google is aiming at the wrong target.” Microsoft, ZDNet noted, has been concentrating on a “mobile first, cloud first” strategy aimed at putting Microsoft services on as many platforms as possible – including Android.

And Now - Wearables

Emphasizing the desire to have a presence in all corners, Microsoft was rumored to be coming out with a smart fitness band that sets itself apart by – wait for it – working on all platforms including Android, iOS, and Windows.

By way of contrast, Samsung (OTC: SSNLF) wearables work only on Samsung phones, Android devices work only on Android. Apple’s rumored iWatch would almost certainly only work with the iPhone.

At the time of this writing, Jim Probasco  had no position in any mentioned securities.

Posted-In: Android Apple Benzinga GoogleRumors Topics Tech General Best of Benzinga

 

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