The launch of Office for iPad has been in the works for years, but what is significant is that newly named CEO Satya Nadella made its launch his first public event.
Microsoft is clearly aiming to show it gets that it is in a world of mobile devices and, much as it would like things to be different, most of those devices aren’t running one of its operating systems.
It also needs to demonstrate that it has a way to make money in this new world. It showed a glimmer of that business model with OneNote for the iPad, which it is making free, though some features will be available only for paid users.
Nadella isn’t just talking Office for iPad though, and is expected to touch more broadly on how Microsoft intends to play a bigger role in the intersection of mobile and the cloud.
Nor does any of this mean Microsoft doesn’t need to get its Windows and Windows Phone house in order. That’s still Job No. 1 for Nadella, with more to come on that front at next week’s Build developer conference, also in San Francisco.
Re/code will have live coverage of the event, which kicks off at 10 am PT.