A low-profile Silicon Valley startup beat Microsoft in delivering an application that allows users to access MS Office documents on their iPads.
CloudOn launched its eponymous iPad app Tuesday. Working in conjunction with DropBox, CloudOn lets users access and create MS Word, Excel and Powerpoint documents on their tablets. Unlike CitirixReceiver and other desktop access apps, CloudOn is designed to work specifically and only with Office.
Microsoft originally said it would try to take on Apple's iWork suite of productivity applications by developing an iPad app when the original device was first introduced. By the time it was launched in 2010, however, Microsoft had changed its mind. In November, citing unnamed sources, The Daily reported that Microsoft planned to launch an iPad Office app in the first half of 2012.
We haven't had a chance to review CloudOn's app just yet, but screen shots on the Web site show the familiar MS Office toolbar. In its limited test of CloudOn, MacRumors said it performed "as advertised" and included "a significant number of tools and functions."
"Given the constraints of operating on an iPad and via a cloud-based interface, however, there are some limitations such as an inability to insert outside images into a document via the interface," MacRumors concluded.