Microsoft's Bringing Office to iOS, Android in 2013

Updated from 12:46 p.m. ET to include a statement from Microsoft, rewrite throughout.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The Apple ( AAPL) iPad owns the tablet market with 68% market share, according to IDC. One major complaint about it (and all tablets) is that they are mainly media consumption devices with limited productivity capabilities, but that may all change next year, should Microsoft ( MSFT) bring Office to iOS and Android.

Microsoft is reportedly bringing its flagship product, Microsoft Office to both Apple and Google's ( GOOG) Android-based devices. This comes from Microsoft's Czech Republic Team, and Petr Bobek, a Microsoft Office productivity manager.

The software suite, which includes the Outlook, Microsoft Word and Excel, will reportedly come to iOS and Android sometime after March 2013.

There had been talk earlier this year that Microsoft Office would be coming to iPads, iPhones, and Android-based devices, but Microsoft has not confirmed anything as of yet.

Jeffries analyst Ross MacMillan mentioned this possibility in a recent analyst note. "MSFT Microsoft has other ways to improve earnings, including porting Office to iOS/ Android (our base case +5% to profits)," MacMillan wrote in a research note. He rates Microsoft shares at hold with a $35 price target.

Microsoft has been hesitant in the past to bring its software outside of the Windows ecosystem, with the noted exception of haphazard versions of Microsoft Office being available for Mac. Bringing Office to iOS and Android, the two dominant mobile operating systems, would be a change in philosophy for Microsoft.

"As we shared previously, Office Mobile will work across Windows Phones, Android phones and iOS, and we have nothing additional to announce today about retail availability of the new Office," a Microsoft spokesperson told TheStreet in an emailed statement.

In July, Microsoft announced the new version of its office suite, Office 2013. Some of the changes include being able to access content across multiple platforms, including touch-screen tablets, mobile, PCs and offline. Word, Excel and PowerPoint will include enhanced touch-based features to enable users to take notes and edit more efficiently on mobile and tablets.

Shares of Microsoft were lower in afternoon trades, losing 0.82% at $29.04.

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-- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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