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Developer leaks Microsoft product plans for next two years

Launch details on Office 15, Phone and IE 10

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Updated A Microsoft developer has taken the unusual step of publishing a partial Redmond roadmap for some of the company's most important software.

Maarten Visser, CEO of Dutch cloud developer consultancy Meetroo, posted the plans, which were issued by Redmond at the end of last year, on his Twitter stream and they include launch dates for product as Office 15, Windows Phone and IE 10. Microsoft has confirmed the veracity of the images, but warns you shouldn't bet the bank on them.

"We often provide forward-looking information to our partners and customers under our confidentially agreements with them. This information contains our best estimates and is, in no way, final or definitive," Microsoft told The Register in an emailed statement.

According to the roadmap, Office 15 as well as updated versions of Exchange, SharePoint, Visio and Project will be released to manufacturers in March 2013, later than Visser expected, he tweeted. The next major update to Redmond's mobile software will come on October 1 this year, Visser states, and it will be updated annually.

IE 10 should be out earlier, possibly by the summer and will be updated on a two-year cadence – a very different approach to more frequent builds coming out of other browser manufacturers. Office 365 and Lync will be updated quarterly.

But there are some serious gaps in the data. The launch of Windows 8 isn't covered, not even the Consumer Preview (studiously not called a beta in an apparent dig at Google) that's already been released. Steven Sinofsky is famed for being a bear when it comes to product information and it's clear Microsoft isn't trusting its partners that far.

As for the fate of Mr. Visser, that's unclear. As head of a Microsoft development shop, he may have been bound by a confidentiality agreement with Redmond and could be liable to penalties. Whatever the case, he'll be about as popular as an Inuit ice cream salesman with the folks in Seattle. ®

Update

Maarten Visser has released a YouTube video about how and why he published the Microsoft roadmap.

He recounts that last week he found the roadmap on a public server after clearing out some emails. He tweeted some pictures, not thinking that they may have been private, and was a little surprised when the press picked up on it and wished to set the record straight.

"I love Microsoft and the products they are producing. I have been evangelizing SharePoint since Microsoft produced the first beta in early 2000," he told The Register in an emailed conversation. "For this reason I really hope my actions won’t bring any damage to the company I love and might even have some positive effects to the partner eco-model (especially smaller ISV’s who are betting their whole lives Microsoft add-ons.)"

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