Here are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today.
Microsoft Office for iPad May or May Not Be Real: Tuesday brought a strange confrontation between Mircosoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and a number of press outlets. According to a summary at MacRumors, the hubbub all began with a report in The Daily that an iPad version of Microsoft Office—the company’s suite of tools, including Microsoft Word and Excel, that brings in $20 billion for the company each year—is in the prototype stage and will be released in the App Store presently. Speaking to The New York Times later in the day, Microsoft denied the report. Reports at ZDNet and TechCrunch, however, denied Microsoft’s denial. Microsoft’s final word on the matter, released via Twitter, is that official announcements due in “coming weeks” would prove The Daily‘s reports false. One of two things will likely come of this. Either Microsoft will indeed release a version of Office for the iPad, thus profiting from the tens of millions of iPad users clamoring for the apps, or Microsoft is preparing to officially unveil its own tablet plans.
Mac Sales Flat Ahead of New MacBook Air Release: Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster shed some light on Apple’s Mac business on Tuesday in a note issued to investors. That note, according to Apple Insider, said that Apple’s Mac sales in 2012 haven’t been especially hot. Based on data from NPD Group, Munster believes quarterly Mac sales will grow just 1% year-on-year by the end of March. The reason for these flat sales, however, is that consumers are waiting for Apple to release a new model of the MacBook Air. Those consumers will be satisfied if Munster’s predictions are correct. The analyst believes Apple will deliver a new MacBook Air “as early as March.” That should turn around Apple’s Mac sales during the second quarter of 2012.
Apple Plans “Green” Data Center for Oregon: Apple and Facebook are about to be neighbors. Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple is going to build yet another data center (it already has one in North Carolina), this time in Prineville, Oregon, just a quarter of a mile from Facebook’s own data center. A report from local television station KTVZ (via 9 to 5 Mac) said that Apple purchased a 160-acre plot of land to build the center, which will adhere to a number of energy-efficiency certifications to make the facility “greener,” limiting its impact on the local environment. Oregon passed a tax break for companies building data centers in the state on Feb. 15, the same day that Apple signed the deed for the land.
As of this writing, Anthony John Agnello did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned stocks. Follow him on Twitter at @ajohnagnello and become a fan of InvestorPlace on Facebook. For more from the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.