Monday, January 30, 2012

Microsoft’s Next Release of Office® is Coming!


The Microsoft Office Exec Blog announced today that the next version of Office, dubbed “Office 15” (during testing anyway) is now in Technical Preview.  This preview is the first time a new version is released to the public.  This preview is not available to everybody (yet.)  It is a small closed group of users that will test it out before Microsoft goes forward with a public beta.  The preview is full so no point in trying to get in on it (I know right?  I want in) but the public beta is set to be available “later this summer.”  Can’t wait!
So what’s in it?  They didn’t say too much but I like what they did say.  According to the blog “Office 15 is the most ambitious undertaking yet for the Office Division.”  What does that mean?  Let’s be honest.  It’s hype, but I’m listening.  Here is another quote, “With Office 15, for the first time ever, we will simultaneously update our cloud services, servers, and mobile and PC clients for Office, Office 365, Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, Project, and Visio. Quite simply, Office 15 will help people work, collaborate, and communicate smarter and faster than ever before.”


Here is what I hope that means.  Mobile Office an every platform not just Windows, Mac OS, and Windows Mobile.  I want Office on Android, and I guess on iOS too.  They already have a Onenote® version for iOS (I don’t like it but it’s there.)  I feel that Microsoft is really missing out on not having a mobile version of Office on mobile platforms.  I have purchased several mobile office suites but would rather have Office if I could get it.

Also I think their online web apps will see great improvement.  They are good now but they need to be great.  Look for more cloud integration and collaboration tools.  Think Google Docs but with Office.  These types of things are there now but they are cumbersome.  I want this collaboration to be seamless and very very very very easy.

CAD Users have to use office software all of the time.  So this is important.  I see the next release of Office as chance to get my entire company on the same version.  Right now we have about 25 users across two locations using Office 2003, 2007 and 2010!  That’s a nightmare to maintain, troubleshoot and assist.
CAD users have to deal with new releases all of the time so this is not a new problem.  Wait, it is a “new” problem because we are constantly bombarded with “new” versions of the same tools we just updated!  Will it never end?  Ever?  The short answer is no.  But I suggest that when a preview or beta is available that you try it out.  Even if it is only for one day.  That will make the transition less difficult.

This is a big year for updates.  I’m sure Autodesk will release updates on its yearly cycle.  Windows 8 is coming out this year and now confirmation that Office will also get a refresher.  Get your IT department budgets in line people!!  It’s almost update time!

To keep up to date on Office 15 news follow the Office Exec Blog.  I will be.

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