In what seems like a never ending story, retiring Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has announced that the company plans to introduce a touch optimized version of Microsoft Office to iPad customers (via The Verge) after it completes development.

Microsoft plans to first deliver the tablet version of its productivity suite to the Microsoft Surface, its tablet competitor to the iPad, but this is the first we have heard of such plans.

Earlier this year Microsoft quietly released Office 365 to iPhone customers, which requires users to subscribe to Microsoft’s service, and one could presume the same subscription model will carry over to the iPad. At the very least, this could make the iPad a little less frustrating for Bill Gates.

Requirements:
* A qualifying Office 365 subscription is required to use this app. Qualifying plans include:
– Office 365 Home Premium
– Office 365 Small Business Premium
– Office 365 Midsize Business
– Office 365 Enterprise E3 and E4 (Enterprise and Government)
– Office 365 Education A3 and A4
– Office 365 ProPlus
– Office 365 University
– Office 365 trial subscriptions

Meanwhile, Apple recently announced that customers purchasing new iOS Devices will have access to Pages, Keynote, and Numbers at no additional cost.

Let us know in the comments if Office for iPad is just what you’ve been waiting for or too little too late!