Holt figures that if Microsoft were to release Office for iOS, pricing it at $60, it could potentially sell it to roughly 30 percent of iPad users. Extend that to an installed base of 200 million iPads in 2014, and Holt concludes that Microsoft would generate about $2.5 billion in revenue per year on Office for iPad — less Apple’s App Store commission.
Although, these figures are estimates, Microsoft is of course missing a revenue opportunity here. The company likely sees Office for Surface as an important competitive advantage; however, it's unclear if the loss in revenue is worth the tradeoff.
Microsoft CFO Peter Klein recently suggested that the door is still open for Office on the iPad.
“We have a history of cross-platform delivery broadly in productivity, whether it’s Office on the Mac, or email, communications, note-taking,” Klein said. “And with our Web applications you can access Office documents, do some light editing on any device and on any browser. So there’s a lot of things that we’re already doing to meet that need. And we’ll continue to think about other things going forward.”
Notably, it appears Microsoft already has Office for iOS ready but is purposely holding back on release. In December of last year, Microsoft's support site leaked references to the unreleased software.