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Microsoft Office may come to iPad before Windows 8

A report on Friday claims Microsoft may actually take the wraps off an iPad version of its Office productivity suite before releasing a touch-able iteration on the company's own Windows 8 platform.

Speculation that Microsoft is biding its time with an Office for iPad release gathered steam on Friday after Microsoft's Executive Vice President of Marketing Tami Reller said the company was taking a "thoughtful" approach to cross-platform models. A follow-up report from ZDNet, however, claims the industry-leading productivity suite may actually land on iPad well before Windows.

According to the publication's sources, the made-for-iPad iteration bears the codename "Miramar" and is likely to make it to market ahead of a touch-first Windows implementation codenamed "Gemini."

As ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley explains, Microsoft's last public statements concerning Miramar hinted it would land after Gemini later this year. This came after rumors pegging the Office for iPad project dead in the water.

Sources now say that late last year Microsoft higher ups like former CEO Steve Ballmer agreed with a suggestion from the Office team to push out the iPad iteration as soon as it was ready. Apparently the iPad version is in a more advanced stage of development compared to a Windows 8 solution, meaning it will likely debut first.

While the publication's sources do not know an exact release date, some are looking at a rollout sometime in the first half of 2014. The purchase structure is also unknown, though Foley has heard it will likely require a subscription through Microsoft Office 365, much like the existing iPhone product.