New Microsoft Office release coming in 2006

Microsoft plans to release a new version of its Office productivity software next year, Bill Gates said Tuesday.

Microsoft plans to release a new version of its Office productivity software next year, company Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates said Tuesday.

Although many insiders had speculated that a new version of Office would come in 2006, Microsoft until Tuesday had not publicly confirmed when it would deliver the product. A 2006 release is in line with Microsoft's two- to three-year release schedules for Office. The last major version, Office 2003, arrived in late 2003.

Microsoft officials have been coy about the next Office release, which has been referred to as Office 12. Gates, in a speech at a Microsoft event for developers in Las Vegas, said the new release will offer enhancements in areas such as workflow capabilities, rights management, advanced scheduling, document sharing and business intelligence.

"Those are areas where Office has gotten richer and will in the next big release, which is coming sometime next year," Gates said.

Nailing down the date to 2006 is good, said Rob Helm, director of research at Directions on Microsoft. Still, Microsoft could provide more details to the general public on its product plans. Only a few customers who buy upgrade rights ahead of time are getting more information, under nondisclosure agreements, according Helm.

With Office 12, Microsoft is expected to release more server products designed for workgroup collaboration. Industry observers and analysts have speculated a new Excel server might be in the works, for example, but Microsoft has declined to comment. Existing server products in the Office System family include Project Server, Portal Server and Live Communications Server.

Microsoft originally planned to ship Office 12 alongside the next version of Windows, code-named Longhorn. The Office release is now likely to come before the new Windows version, which Microsoft has said will be broadly available in late 2006.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Joris Evers

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?