Microsoft to skip lucky Office 13, many users to skip 12 too

Microsoft to skip lucky Office 13, many users to skip 12 too

Summary: Triskaidekaphobia is a fear of the number 13. Apparently, even large corporations are not immune from this superstition. Microsoft will call their next version of Office version "14" just to be safe.

TOPICS: Microsoft

With Microsoft Office 2007 (aka. Office 12) out the door, speculation has started about what the next version will have. Not so fast, says Microsoft, who would like us to focus on (and buy) currently shipping products. But as Paul Thurrott notes, "Apparently, Microsoft has forgotten how the enthusiast community works." 

[poll id=10] 

Mary Jo Foley has compiled a list of what might be in Office 14, which will probably be called Office 2009 by the time it is released. However it's pretty vague, including such safe predictions as:

  • Enable users to perform more complex tasks more easily
  • Provide more self- and community-based help options
  • Deliver improved search relevancy
  • Include tighter integration of unified communications, identity, policy, compliance, etc. across all apps

Most sources agree that Microsoft will skip version "13" due to superstition (see triskaidekaphobia). Regardless of what they call it, expect the inertia of current installs to slow adoption of both Office 2007 and its future incarnations. Even older versions of Office work "well enough" for most people that upgrades are not exactly a high priority. Do you trade-up to new versions as soon as they come out or hang on to what works? Take the poll above and compare your answer to other readers.

Topic: Microsoft

Ed Burnette

About Ed Burnette

Ed Burnette is a software industry veteran with more than 25 years of experience as a programmer, author, and speaker. He has written numerous technical articles and books, most recently "Hello, Android: Introducing Google's Mobile Development Platform" from the Pragmatic Programmers.

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  • Another option

    How about an option between 'as soon as' and 'when I'm forced' which would be 'after a period of sensible caution'
    • I second that

      Exactly,,I usually wait a few months to see if any serious gatchas turn up.
      • Ditto

        Or to see if I can get any ridiculously good deal.s
        • Added

          Normally I don't like to change polls after they're open but since 3 people asked for it, I added the option and moved your 3 votes over to it from 'other'.
          Ed Burnette
  • Are users really skipping Office 12?

    How does your headline match the posting stating:

    <i>Sales of Office 2007 were substantially better than those of Office 2003 during the first week of its launch, according to a study comparing retail figures for both products.</i>
    • Ooooh, good call.


      Still, unlike Vista, Office 2007 actually has some merit. (And historians can write that down as well; I give credit where it is due - I'm not a total cynic... :D )
    • Lies and Statistics

      That could just mean that everyone who wants Office 2007 decided to get it early. They initial surge could become a dribble later.


      There are more new Windows systems bought and the users/companies believe the new OS requires/prefers Office 2007.


      There are more people on the planet now. Population increase puts a demand on Office products.


      Office 2007 is going to give Microsoft a banner year


      My point is that comparing sales of the first month or two of Office 2007 vs. Office 2003 doesn't mean anything at all. It has been 4 years since Office 2003 was originally release. Seriously there could just be more consumers in the market for Office software now.
      • What does it matter?

        No matter what the reason, the comparison is valid. Sales are sales, water is wet and you know the rest!
    • Hmmm...

      Those figures don't really jibe with anecdotal accounts that I'm hearing from people, or the poll results. Perhaps the difference can be explained if the market is much larger than it was 4 years ago.
      Ed Burnette
  • skipping office 12

    Office is such a costly suite, I prefer on Linux & WinXP on my personal computers.

    My workplace isn't in a rush to upgrade either. Office 12 is a resource hog so it's not being considered for all workstations right now.
    • I'm slowly abandoning desktop apps

      I very seldom have a need for many of the advanced features of Office. I have Office 97 on my desktop and use it when I have to work with macros or other functions. I've been migrating to for most of my routine word processing and spreadsheeting.

      R.L. Parson
  • What are you smoking?

    Office 2007 is a LOT less of a resource hog than both OOo (what isn't?) and Office 2003. In fact, I'd like to say that Office 2007 is probably the most important release since Office 97 where they introduced spell+grammar check. Flame Vista all you like - it has its ups and downs and room for debate, but Office 2007? It is awsome hands down.
    • Personally, I'm clean

      ...and having used all versions of MS Office (including 2007), I'll say this: 3 is much lighter on my system than MS Office 2007 (it runs off 300 Mb of disk space on a 256 Mb of RAM-equipped Celeron 500, instead of 3.5 Gb of disk space, a dual core and 2 Gb of RAM). It also crashes much less often (I had Access crashing on me five times in a single evening while creating a poor database; I crashed OO.o once, with a corrupted Powerpoint-with-embedded-OLE-video file - and even then, it might just have been because OLE support in Linux ain't the priority).

      For one thing, it allows me to run an OS that can handle more than 3.5 Gb of RAM without any problem; OO.o's native 64-bit version is also surprisingly much faster (yes, OO.o 3 has an official 64-bit port).

      For another, it didn't disable importing of older file formats "for security reasons" (read: MS couldn't be bothered with fixing file filters, while OO.o did); on the contrary, it got better.

      And last, I don't need to sell my grandma and vouch my firstborn's soul to MS to install it; it's free, and it's mine.
      Mitch 74
  • Having isn't necessarily upgrading

    For instance, as a consultant, I now have Office 2007 installed. That doesn't mean I use it. still does all my heavy lifting. But as a business matter I need to know what the Microsoft suite does, and whether my customers might need it. So far, none do. I wouldn't tell somebody to avoid it if it were forced on them or just came with the machine, though.

    I [i]would[/i] tell them to be careful about using the OOXML formats at this time, though. They should continue to use the 98/2000/XP binary formats. Otherwise they'll have serious issues exchanging data with their associates who did not migrate. When it does come time to switch to XML formats, ODF is the better choice.
  • Only if I need it

    I would only upgrade if I need what it has to offer.
    Mark Miller
    • I can imagine companies wanting 12 though

      The main reason being that it enables server-side processing better than past versions. With any other version of Office if you want server side processing of documents you have two options. You can either run Office apps. on the server programmatically, which is possible but gives me the creeps, or buy a third-party package that reads Office format docs., with an API your server side software can interact with. There is Sharepoint, but what I'm talking about is feeding documents in and out of a data processing system, transferring data between documents and a database.

      I know this is possible with ODF and the ODF DOMs that I'm sure are out there. I'm talking about the places that use MS Office already.
      Mark Miller