Microsoft is known to be well into developing Office 15, its next version of its integrated Office suite. (In fact, one Microsoft VP said late last year he was running an early milestone build of it.) But Microsoft is already gearing up to gather developer input for Office 16.
A Microsoft official mentioned Office 16 in a January 4 blog post, calling for developer participation in a March 2011 Office 15 Developer Kitchen. At that event, according to the post, Microsoft plans to show developers an "advance preview" of its Access and Office 15 story; allow them to spend face time with the Office product team; help Microsoft "identify any major gaps prior to the release"; and provide input for Office 15 and Office 16.
The Office-customer-focused event will be free, but attendees will have to pay their own ways to Redmond to attend, the blog post said.
Office 15 is believed to be a 2013 deliverable. So does that mean Office 16 is a 2016 thing? That's just a guess, if Microsoft continues along its current development trajectory....
Office 15, according to early leaks, may feature user interface changes, and possibly some new mystery feature. The Office team also may be on-board with the company's plan to rely on a new framework (codenamed "Jupiter") to provide a common app-store platform that would give the Office team a new way to sell and service Office 15.