Want Office on your iPad or Android tablet? Try Microsoft’s new Remote Desktop app for iOS

Until Microsoft(s msft) releases a touch-optimized version of Office for iPad(s aapl), the next best solution might be the new Remote Desktop app for iOS. Microsoft released the free software on Thursday for iOS and Android(s goog), allowing users to remotely connect and control a Windows PC from a phone or tablet.

microsoft remote desktop ios

There are a number of uses for such a product but the first one that came to my mind was using Office on an iPad via the Remote Desktop client. Microsoft is working on a version of Office for Apple’s tablet but there’s no release date information yet available. The new software could also find a home in enterprises that have adopted iOS and Android devices to supplement existing PCs.

While there have been numerous similar solutions from third parties, it’s nice to see Microsoft starting to support other platforms with this effort. Why it took so long, I don’t know.

It’s almost as if by delivering a Remote Desktop app for iOS and Android, Microsoft is finally admitting these two platforms are becoming more relevant by the day. Would native Office apps for non-Windows devices be more welcome? Sure, but at least this gives a taste of what’s yet to come. And the Metro-style apps for Windows 8 are already touch optimized, so using them remotely on a tablet is an added bonus.