Microsoft has been friendly with iPads for years now, even launching Office apps there before Android and even before Windows tablets. Another interesting move came in 2019, when Microsoft decided to unify the Office apps on iOS and Android, as a single app. And now we’re getting updates adapted to the new iPad paradigm.

Microsoft is working on adding cursor support for Office on iPad. We’re going to see mouse and trackpad support on Office for iPad in the Fall. Microsoft will also keep individual apps like Word, Excel and PowerPoint, so they may also get the cursor support. Apple’s iPad OS got mouse support and trackpad support earlier this year, so it’s a logical step, as we see more and more apps play catch up. The new circular cursor changes shape depending on context and it cam become a vertical line over text, but it also imitates the shape of an app icon for example.

The idea is to make the iPad + keyboard truly a laptop replacement. The iPad Pro with Magic Keyboard has made these options even more appealing, but Microsoft apps don’t get trackpad and mice support on iPads. We have to give to Microsoft though, as they were fast to roll out the iPad Split View for Outlook on iOS as early as 2019. Things are growing big time for Apple’s tablet, that celebrated a decade since its first model was launched in April.

To be honest the design hasn’t changed in dramatic fashion during the decade, but the accessories and software pushed it ahead of the competition.