The same way that folks were champing at the bit for Windows 8 news even before Windows 7 was done, there's interest about what's coming next for Office 2010's successor, codenamed "Office 15."
Unsurprisingly, the planning is already underway for the next release of Microsoft's productivity suite, as a December 3 blog post on the Microsoft Access Team Blog site makes clear. The Access database team is soliciting input regarding new kinds of SQL Server support that Access customers would like to see by the time the Office 15 release ships.
From the post by Program Manager Greg Lindhorst:
"As Office 2010 nears shipping, we are starting to plan Office 15. One area that we are considering improving is our SQL Server support. Based on what I've heard from the community, that would be most welcome. Note that we are very early in planning, and considering many possible areas of investment, I unfortunately can't commit to any actual improvements at this time."
Lindhorst requested feedback about specific SQL Server features Access users need to access (no pun intended). Lindhorst asked for more information on which features in Access that target SQL Server are falling short of users' needs today, as well as for input on which SQL Server features aren't currently exposed to Access users that would be useful.
Access is slated to be part of the Office 2010 Professional and Professional Plus releases.
Office 2010, codenamed "Office 14" will be available by June, Microsoft officials have acknowledged. Microsoft recently delivered a public beta of several Office 2010 SKUs, including the client version, SharePoint Server 2010, Office Web Apps and Office Mobile 2010. On December 3, Microsoft officials said that testers had downloaded 1 million copies of the Office 2010 public beta.
This latest mention of Office 15 is not the first. Blogger Stephen Chapman unearthed a mention from a Microsoft SharePoint blogger in September, which also noted that Office 15 would likely be a 2013 deliverable. (I'm betting that is a worst-case deadline and we might see Office 15 by the end of 2012, but who knows?)