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Microsoft's touch-friendly Office may launch on Android before Windows

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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella hasn't been leading the company very long, but he's already put forward a very clear message: the new Microsoft wants its best apps and services on all platforms, and it's not playing favorites. The launch of Office for iPad was clear evidence of that, and now it seems Microsoft is preparing to bring a touch-optimized version of its productivity suite to Android — "months" before it rolls out a Windows equivalent. ZDNet is reporting that the redesigned mobile Office will arrive on Android by the end of 2014. The Windows 8 "Metro" incarnation, by contrast, has apparently been pushed back to spring 2015 despite initial hopes it would arrive this year.

That's great news for Android tablet owners, but it's also likely to disappoint and even anger some Windows users, who feel Microsoft is ignoring its own backyard while bringing this polished and finger-friendly Office experience to Windows rivals. But this is the trajectory that Microsoft must follow to succeed in what Nadella recently labeled a "post-post-PC era." "There are going to be Windows devices and there are going to be other devices and we have to make sure our services run on all of them," he said during last week's Code Conference. Nadella suggested that Office for iPad won't the last time Microsoft launches a major app on a platform other than Windows; today's Android rumors seem to back that claim. Nadella said that while a touch-first Office for Windows is coming along, he's unwilling to let it hold the company back.