This article originally appeared on Brighthand.com.
Surprising many developers and tech observers, Microsoft may be developing a version of the Office suite that can run on the popular Apple iPhone. The creation of this compatible suite would allow users to edit and create Office documents, whereas now they can currently only download and view Office documents sent by email.
Among the most requested software for the iPhone is a suite of applications to allow users to work with Microsoft Office files. One company that's considering developing this is at once the most surprising and the most obvious: Microsoft itself.
A team of Microsoft developers is currently testing the iPhone Software Development Kit (SDK) with an eye toward making a version of Office, according to Fortune. The company is a long way away from making any commitments, though.
The iPhone currently allows users to view Word documents that come in as email attachments, but a version of Microsoft Office would allow these documents to be edited, too.
Microsoft has its own operating system for smartphones, so it might seem unlikely that it would bring a big boost to its rival by releasing an Office Suite. But it's really not surprising. Microsoft has worked closely with Apple for many years, and claims to have the largest collection of Mac developers outside of Apple. Its version of Office has been one of the best selling Mac applications for years.
And Apple and Microsoft are already collaborating on iPhone software. They are in the process of bringing Exchange ActiveSync to this smartphone now.