Feeds

Microsoft to announce new Office version on Monday

Promises 'most transformational' release ever

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is widely expected to announce details of the next version of the Microsoft Office productivity suite on Monday USA Today reports, giving the public its first glimpse of a product that has so far remained shrouded in secrecy.

Microsoft has been calling the new version "Office 15," but come Monday we'll probably know it as Office 2013, assuming Redmond sticks to convention. To date, only "a select group of customers" have had their mitts on the new suite, via a technical preview program that began in January, and then only under a strict nondisclosure agreement.

The rest of us may soon get our chance, though, as Microsoft has promised a public beta this summer. In the meantime, just what to expect of the new release is practically anyone's guess.

We know that Microsoft plans to deliver a version of Office for ARM processors running Windows RT, but we don't know whether it will share the same UI or include all of the features of the x86 version.

It's a safe bet that Redmond will continue to integrate the suite with online services as it tries to steer customers toward its Office 365 subscription offering. Blogger Mary Jo Foley says Microsoft even plans to offer something called the Office 365 Fully Packaged Product (FPP), a prepaid subscription that will be available in retail stores.

It's also likely that Microsoft will give the Office UI a makeover to help it fit better with Windows 8's new Metro look and feel, as it did with Visual Studio earlier this year – though hopefully it's learned its lesson from that experiment.

If Microsoft sticks to a previously leaked roadmap, we can expect Office 2013 to ship in March of next year, though other reports say the ARM version will come bundled with Microsoft's Surface tablet when it debuts in October.

For now, Office-watchers might want to keep their eyes on the new Office Next blog, which launched Friday. In his first post, PJ Hough, Microsoft's vice president for Office program management, gushes, "In my 18 years at Microsoft, I think this is the most transformational release I've worked on!" ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Preview redux: Microsoft ships new Windows 10 build with 7,000 changes
Latest bleeding-edge bits borrow Action Center from Windows Phone
Google opens Inbox – email for people too thick to handle email
Print this article out and give it to someone tech-y if you get stuck
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on
Next driver to battle fake chips with 'non-invasive' methods
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Entity Framework goes 'code first' as Microsoft pulls visual design tool
Visual Studio database diagramming's out the window
Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...
Wobbly Gmail, Contacts, Calendar on the other hand ...
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.