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Microsoft hint at a surprise in “coming weeks” as they hit back at The Daily

Microsoft have once again quickly returned to suggestions made about Microsoft Office for iPad via Twitter as Peter Ha revealed that he had seen a demo of the application by someone from within Microsoft.

In what has become the saga of the day, Microsoft have still not confirmed nor denied whether they are making Microsoft Office for iPad but have stated that The Daily has been misguided in the information they have acquired. They have also dropped a hint in a Tweet in response to Ha that all will become clear in “coming weeks”.     

Further Update: Microsoft Office is coming to the iPad? Yes but no but…

Since reporting The Daily’s story that Microsoft are in development of Office for iPad, claiming to have had a hands-on experience with the application, Microsoft responded with a statement that neither confirmed nor denied knowledge about such an app.


Another twist in the tail of this story has arisen. The Daily’s reporter, Peter Ha, has announced since Microsoft’s statement that the application was demoed to The Daily by someone at Microsoft and that it was not a ‘fabricated’ story also revealing that the image of Office is a genuine screenshot of the application. From a couple more tweets sent by Ha, he challenges Microsoft to call him. There is now a definite edge to this story that means it is more than just a rumour. It is the truth that Microsoft is working on an Office application for iPad but currently we don’t know much more than that.

Update: Microsoft Office is coming to the iPad? Yes but no but…

Only earlier, Core Info reported on the possibility of Microsoft Office coming to the iPad after substantial evidence from The Daily. However, just like many rumours, this proved incorrect as The New York Times reports Microsoft issuing a statement that deny some of the claims made by The Daily but have not specified to which they have objected to. 

A Microsoft spokeswoman issued this statement: “The Daily story is based on inaccurate rumors and speculation. We have no further comment.”

This neither confirms nor denies that Microsoft are working on Office for iPad. The spokesperson also said that Microsoft are declining to comment on whether the company have produced such software and when it will be released. 

This is the second time a rumour has been circling around about the possibility of Microsoft Office for the iPad after an earlier rumour came about last November. Whilst we wait for the highly speculated application to arrive, there are some great free alternatives such as OnLive (US only) and CloudOn available currently. Both give great support for creating, viewing and editing documents within a Microsoft Office platform.  

Microsoft Office is coming to the iPad?!

Despite hearing about this rumoured news story in November, it looks like there may just be some truth behind it. The Daily have re-ignited speculation of Microsoft Office coming to the iPad after they claim to have had time with a working prototype and that the app is being submitted to the App Store soon for approval. Microsoft Office for iPad will apparently allow creation and editing of Word, PowerPoint and Excel to work on and offline. It is unlikely that Microsoft will be making an Android copy of the software.

Should this be true, it could potentially be Microsoft shooting themselves in the foot despite the almost guaranteed popularity of the prospective app. Currently Windows Phone 7, a rival to Apple’s iOS, boasts some qualities that could potentially make it an attractive platform.  A main reason to purchase a Windows Phone is to stay within the Microsoft ecosystem, having the best Office suite available with you, where ever you go. However, this decision could turn things ugly for Microsoft should they choose to do so. Granting a full mobile copy of Microsoft Office to the iPad could be catastrophic for a range of tablets that don’t even exist yet. This decision would potentially move most companies in the corporate world to move to the iPad, a killer blow for Windows losing all attractiveness to the Windows 8 to-be-released tablet range.

If this decision was to go through, it would show just how serious companies are taking the iPad with a serious rival set to stand aside to their biggest rivals in the market they are rumoured to be entering by the end of the year, with already ARM version of Windows 8 being produced. The timing of the release of the app is expected to go hand in hand with the iPad 3 release, perfect for Apple.

"A brief hands-on with a working prototype of the software revealed a number of new things. The app’s user interface is similar to the current OneNote app, but it has hints of Metro, the new design language that can be seen in Windows Phone and in the yet to be released Windows 8 desktop operating system."

The only competition Microsoft Office would face on the App Store would be Apple’s own iWork suite which works efficiently on iPad but has fallen short of key services needed such as DropBox support but does boast iCloud sync. The move from Microsoft could also see a step up in Apple’s own iWork ’09 suite which is already in need of change. There are also currently some free third party applications which offer a capped Microsoft Office with apps such as OnLive (US only) and CloudOn (US and recently introduced to the UK) which offer the ability to edit and create documents. 

The move could also path the way for other big name companies to bow down to Apple’s superiority with companies such as RIM desperately in need of re-inventing themselves and could possibly see BlackBerry Messenger, BBM, coming to the iPhone.

iPad 3 to be thicker than the iPad 2 (just)

The rumours keep on coming. The latest one to hit the news is about the form factor, a factor that proved to be rather deciding in the case of the iPhone 4S, rather than the name itself. MICGadget reports on photos they have of an iPad 2 and 3 side by side to compare the exterior design.

 

From observing MIC’s pictures of what is believed to be the next iPad to be launched on March 7th, there is just about enough evidence that the iPad 3 looks thicker despite the propaganda to promote this minute insignificance. The thickness comes from a larger degree of the iPad with tapered edges. 

It is easier to see here, in the shot above, what point MICGadget are trying to inform us of with the difference in thickness with the iPad 3 being 1-1.5mm thicker than its predecessor. They also claim there is a larger camera lens hole to supposedly suggest a rumoured 8mp camera.

Core Info is unsure about the prospects of this rumour but believe that even if it was to be true, it would barely make a difference to the already near perfect design of the iPad currently. However, we strongly believe that iPad 3 will boast a better camera of about that quality.  

These are just two of the rumoured features for the next generation iPad which is expected to be unveiled on 7th March alongside new iOS software, iOS 5.1. Other rumoured features involve 4G LTE capabilities and a quad-core processor.

No A6 Processor?

One of the possible areas for the upgrade of the iPad is Apple’s almost 1 year old A5 dual core processor, which has been ported to the iPhone 4S after being debuted in the iPad 2 in March 2011.

For weeks, we have been expecting an A6, quad-core processor to succeed A5 dual-core Apple currently have in their iDevice range. Just like we were wrong about the release of the iPhone 5, WeiPhone suggests that we could be wrong about the name of the upgraded processor which they believe will be named the A5X.

The processor has a date code of ‘1146’ on it, stating it was manufactured in the 46th week of 2011 which corresponds to 14-20 November. Also on the board shows 16 GB flash memory from Hynix and an Apple logo. The chip’s form factor matches ones found in previous to ones on previous generations of the iPad. 

Siri Can’t Speak Japanese Anymore

Only earlier this week Core Info reported on Siri being able to speak Japanese, an ability unknown to all. A brief updates to this report is that Apple have now changed the response Siri gives when asked “What languages do you speak?” Apple have realised the leak and have corrected it. When Siri is asked the same question, it just has mundane response of being able to speak English, German and French.

It seems that once again, Apple have released information about the upcoming iOS 5.1 update. We definitely expect Siri to be speaking Japanese soon and this is a fact. We could also possibly see Siri learning more languages in time for March 7, the rumoured date for the release of iPad 3 and iOS 5.1. These languages include the one stated on Apple’s websites, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese.

Other rumoured features for iOS 5.1 are the new slide to unlock setup and a new Notes app.

Notes app to be updated in iOS 5.1

Ahead of an expected iOS 5 update, iOS 5.1, the latest rumour to hit the shelves is an updated iOS Notes application. This would be expected for an Apple iPhone app which has barely been updated since the launch of the original iPhone. The newly found expectations of things to come in iOS 5, despite non of these features having been revealed in any of the iOS 5.1 betas, is the ability of Rich Text Editing and Formatting.

In the recently reported release of Mountain Lion, a future OS X upgrade, combined iPad’s functionality with OS X. This included a first time release of a Notes App which gave functionality to include pictures in Notes, one big feature that has been missing from the iPad’s and iPhone’s notes app for sometime now. Now, iPhone Hellas has reported on their capture of a iPhone notes app to be launched in iOS 5.1 which features Rich Text Editing, not photos.

The next instalment of iOS 5 is expected to launch with the iPad 3 on 7th March. Some other rumoured features include speaking Japanese and a new slide-to-unlock interface.

Core Info marks this rumour as CREDIBLE. However, we also believe the changes will be taken further and the ability to add photos, and possibly videos, to text. Another expectation that Core Info has, is the functionality of sending notes as messages, in addition to the standard functionality of emailing and printing.

CONFIRMED: iPad 3 will have a Retina Display

Nearly a week ago, CoreInfo posted our expectations for the iPad 3 and a rumour round up of what to expect. Over several months, a Retina iPad 3 has been a hot topic with many stories debating whether Apple could pull it off. However, CoreInfo branded it is the most credible rumour for the next generation iPad we have seen. There have been many part leaks of a different iPad 3 screen but non-have had any or enough evidence to take it out of the rumour state.

However, that has all just changed. MacRumors were able to obtain an iPad 3 ‘leaked’ display and sent it for examination under a microscope to test if the claims were true. With the naked eye, it is impossible to tell the DPI but it is confirmed that the screen size has the size diagonal 9.7 display.

From MacRumors tests, the results were very simple. When comparing the iPad 2 display and iPad 3, the iPad 3’s pixels were ¼ of the size of the iPad 2. On the iPad 2 there is a collection of 4 pixels (2x2) but on the iPad 3 we see 16 pixels (4x4) in exactly the same area. Extrapolating the results, MacRumors expect a full resolution of 2048x1536, which is twice the resolution of the iPad 1 and 2 at 1024x768 producing very clear and sharp images on the display.  

This is expected to be a major and compelling reason to purchase or upgrade to the iPad 3 where it is also speculated to be launched on 7th March. Two other rumoured and debatable features are whether the iPad 3 will have an A6, quad-core processor and/or LTE 4G capabilities.   

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Giveaway ends on Feb. 19, 2012

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