Feeds

Microsoft takes InfoPath behind the shed, says successor will be better

Next one will work on PCs, phones, and slabs – but how, we don't know

A new approach to endpoint data protection

Microsoft has announced that it has axed its Office InfoPath forms-entry software, in favor of a new, yet-to-be-announced technology that will be revealed later this year.

"In an effort to streamline our investments and deliver a more integrated Office forms user experience, we're retiring InfoPath and investing in new forms technology across SharePoint, Access, and Word," the Microsoft Office team said in a blog post on Friday. "This means that InfoPath 2013 is the last release of the desktop client, and InfoPath Forms Services in SharePoint Server 2013 is the last release of InfoPath Forms Services."

Redmond debuted InfoPath as a component of Office 2003. An XML-based form composition and entry system, it was designed to make it easier for businesses to capture data and output it in a variety of industry-standard formats. But in the modern world of smartphones, tablets, and touchscreen UIs, the InfoPath desktop client software is showing its age.

"Industry trends and feedback from our customers and partners make it clear that today's businesses demand an intelligent, integrated forms experience that spans devices," Microsoft said.

Just what the eventual replacement for InfoPath will be, however, isn't clear. According to InfoPath's obituary notice, Redmond plans to deliver something that will work across PCs, tablets, and phones, but no further details have been given.

The Office team doesn't actually have much of a track record for delivering cross-device experiences, either. Microsoft keeps threatening to ship versions of the core Office applications with UIs more suited to mobile devices, but so far only OneNote is available in a full-featured fondleslab edition. The versions of Office for iOS and Android phones aren't much more than glorified document viewers.

But businesses that are heavily invested in InfoPath needn't fear. Mainstream support for InfoPath 2013 doesn't end until 2018, and customers can pay for extended support through 2023.

As for InfoPath's successor, Microsoft says it will be sharing updates on its progress throughout the year, and customers can expect a sneak peek at the new tools at this year's SharePoint Conference, scheduled to take place in Las Vegas from March 3-6. ® 

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration

More from The Register

next story
PEAK LANDFILL: Why tablet gloom is good news for Windows users
Sinofsky's hybrid strategy looks dafter than ever
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Fiendishly complex password app extension ships for iOS 8
Just slip it in, won't hurt a bit, 1Password makers urge devs
Mozilla keeps its Beard, hopes anti-gay marriage troubles are now over
Plenty on new CEO's todo list – starting with Firefox's slipping grasp
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Cloudy CoreOS Linux distro declares itself production-ready
Lightweight, container-happy Linux gets first Stable release
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?