Microsoft site leak hints at 2009 release for Office 14

A leak on a Microsoft Web site hints at a 2009 release for the next version of Office, code-named Office 14.

A leak on a Microsoft Web site referring to a product in the Office suite hints at a 2009 release for the next version of the productivity suite, currently code-named Office 14.

On Monday, Microsoft revealed a podcasting kit for Office SharePoint Server, the portal product in the Office family, with an accompanying question-and-answer article on its Codeplex site for developers that includes information about the product.

The site made reference to Office SharePoint 2009, which hints that the next version of Office will be named Office 2009 and released that year. Microsoft has not officially revealed a timeline for Office 14.

The site no longer has a reference to SharePoint 2009, however. Once the reference was reported on, Microsoft changed the wording on the site to erase it. In addition, the author of the post tacked on a note to the blogger who first reported about the information, saying the Q&A was a transcript from a conversation with customers and was not accurate about the name of the next version of Office.

"I honestly have no idea how the next release of SharePoint will be named, I promise," said the note, which was signed "Ludo" for Ludo Fourrage, a Microsoft group product manager. "Thanks for your interest in PKS." PKS, or Podcasting Kit for SharePoint, is an open-source initiative that helps customers develop and deploy podcasts using SharePoint.

Microsoft has released scant details about Office 14, the follow-up to the current Office 2007 software, and its release date is not one of them.

Last month, the company said it would support the latest specification for the XML-based file format Open Office XML (OOXML) in Office 14. OOXML is a rival to Open Document Format; both have been approved as international standards by the International Organization for Standardization, although OOXML's approval is being contested by some countries' standards bodies.

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Elizabeth Montalbano

IDG News Service
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