Updated: Microsoft preps Office for Apple’s iPad

Microsoft is reportedly set to submit an iPad-optimized version of its flagship Office suite to the App Store for approval.

Granted, anything that has to go through the Apple wringer is far from a guaranteed approval.

In fact, Cupertino has a long history of vetoing apps that are very similar to its lineup of indigenous software, and as we all know, Apple’s own iWork has been around for quite some time.

In any case, Microsoft has apparently designed (or overhauled) a specialized version of Office for Apple’s wildly popular tablet.

You can certainly work (well) from an iPad – rather than a netbook – with an external keyboard. Any professional who routinely edits and creates documents using Excel or Word should be excited at the prospect of getting the real optimized deal.

According to AppleInsider, The Daily was able to get its hands on a working prototype of the mobile office suite. Apparently, the apps boast Microsoft’s newly minted “Metro” design typically associated with upcoming Windows 8 tablets.

You can create and edit Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files both locally and online. However, it remains unclear if additional Office software will be added at some point.

Currently, there is no indication of how much Microsoft wants to charge for the app, assuming it is approved. I would wager it will likely cost more than Apple’s own iWork, which is roughly $10 per app. As expensive as Office is for computers, I won’t be surprised if Office eventually becomes one of the most costly apps in the Apple’s store.

Update: Update: In a statement to The New York Times, Microsoft has rebuffed reports of an iPad-optimized version of Office, saying such claims, originally reported by The Daily were “based on inaccurate rumors and speculation.”