T3 is reporting that Mike Tedesco, Microsoft's Senior Product Manager for WindowsBU, stated that a version of Microsoft Office for the iPad is "something that we're looking at." Tedesco stressed that he couldn't make any official announcement today, but from the sounds of things, Microsoft is at least considering a version of Office for Apple's newest creation.
The iPad already has the ability to run a productivity suite -- Apple has created iPad-specific versions of its own iWork programs, Pages, Numbers, and Keynote for $9.99 each -- but as T3 notes, bringing Office over to the iPad would go a long way toward establishing it as a legitimate productivity device. Whether those Office apps would be bundled together, offered individually, or cost as much as or more than iWork is, of course, impossible to say at this point. We'll keep you updated as we learn more about Microsoft's intentions.
If Office becomes available for the iPad, it could help legitimize the device in the eyes of many and make users more confident in buying the device. Bill Gates says he is unimpressed with the iPad, claiming it needs a stylus and a keyboard. That attitude may be part of what kept Microsoft from ever launching his vision for tablet PCs. (Although I will admit it would be nice to see a precision stylus for the iPad for note taking. I have a Pogo Stylus for my iPhone, but it’s nowhere near as accurate as the stylus on my tablet PC.)