A new hint about what's coming (and when) in Microsoft Office 14

A new hint about what's coming (and when) in Microsoft Office 14

Summary: Master data management will be part of Office 14, a first Community Technology Preview (CTP) of which is due in the first quarter of 2008. Microsoft already is prepping a first MDM release, code-named "Bulldog," and is specing out the next, codenamed "Greenwich."


A new hint about what’s coming (and when) in Microsoft Office 14Master data management will be part of Office 14, a first Community Technology Preview (CTP) of which is due in the first quarter of 2008.

That's according to a September 19 blog post by Microsoft IT Pro Evangelist "PatricG."

Master data management is technology that allows for the management of common reference data across disparate IT systems or groups. Microsoft stuck a toe in the MDM space in June 2007 with its acquisition of privately held MDM specialist Stratature. Microsoft said at the time of the acquisition that it planned to withdraw existing Stratature products from the market and instead integrate the Stratature +EDM technology into Office applications and servers.

The first iteration of Stratature's technology that will be part of Office 14 -- most likely a component of the SharePoint Server product, it would seem-- is codenamed "Bulldog," according to PatricG's post. Bulldog's successor is codenamed "Greenwich," he said, providing no delivery vehicle for that particular release of MDM. Greenwich will add new integration, analytical and transactional capabilities on top of what's shipped with Bulldog, PatrickG said.

From PatrickG's blog post:

"Bulldog includes Microsoft process and standards applied to the Stratature code base as well as several important new capabilities. Bulldog will meet these requirements while laying the foundation for the long-term master data management vision at Microsoft. In concert with the product enhancements, we will be building the product ecosystem including sales channels, customer support, partner readiness, demos and training materials."

PatrickG said Bulldog will be aligned with the Office 14 wave for the CTP, Technology Adoption Program (TAP) and release-to-manufacturing deliverables. He said the CTP is due to go to select customers by Q1 2008.

Microsoft has said next-to-nothing about its plans for Office 14. Back in February 2007, a Microsoft presentation leaked that pegged Office 14 as on target to be shipped in the first half of 2009. When Microsoft told its sales force this summer that Windows 7, the next version of Windows, was unlikely to ship before 2010, I was betting that Office 14 also had been pushed back a year. Given this latest blog post, I'm now wondering Office 14 will ship ahead of Windows 7.

Any other new Office 14 scuttlebutt out there?

Topics: Collaboration, Data Centers, Microsoft, Software


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Isn't it a bit soon?

    Office 2007 hasn't even been digested yet.

    Shelling out several hundred dollars every year just doesn't make sense.

    I suspect MS will want us to figure that out, so we become more accepting of their idea to 'rent' their software.
    • I meant to say every few years...

    • I agree

      it takes 5+ years to update Windows which is fine with me. However Microsoft wants use to upgrade office ever year or two.

      I don't think there any need to keep upgrading only reason I have MS office 2007 is the fact they keep changing the format so I have it to make sure I can open documents etc from people.
  • The race is on

    Can Microsoft generate and publish documentation for the wireline protocols used in time for the product launch?

    My guess is that they'll wait until, a few years after release, the ECC calls them on it, then stall for a few years, then appeal, then take a few years to comply.
    Yagotta B. Kidding
    • Wow

      You're really going out on a limb with your predictions there. ;)
      Michael Kelly
  • RE: A new hint about what's coming (and when) in Microsoft Office 14

    Office 14? What happened to 9,9,10,11,12, and 13? Or does this mean no new Office till 2014?
    • Answer

      Office 7 = Office 95
      Office 8 = Office 97
      Office 9 = Office 2000
      Office 10 = Office XP
      Office 11 = Office 2003
      Office 12 = Office 2007
      Office 13 = skipping over
      Office 14 = Next Office release
      Confused by religion
      • Triskaidekaphobia

        [i]Office 13 = skipping over [/i]

        Well, that or the Mac version is getting its own (unlucky) number.
        Yagotta B. Kidding
        • Not sure about the Mac side

          I don't think the numbering system for Macs is the same as for the Windows version. They are a separate unit operating out of California (Mac Business Unit or MBU) and they have their own ideas about product names/numbers.

          However, skipping Office 13 can't hurt now, can it? After all, MSFT has had its share of rotten luck so far this year - why tempt fate?
          Confused by religion
  • All roads...

    Microsoft has a continuing problem finding reasons to purchase newer versions of Windows and Office. One of the solutions is to find a technology or functionality that has become popular and incorporate it.

    But much of that technology is work rather than home related. In a few editions, Office home and business editions will be so substantially different that Microsoft will probably find a new name for home.
    Anton Philidor
  • Office 2007

    We just got a new Vista PC with Office 2007 at home. I do not like how they changed it so much. Difficult to find things and almost too many features for a basic user. At some point you have to say what else can they make it do to come out with a new release ?
    • We haven't rolled it out yet, but...

      When we do it's going to be a training nightmare.
      • I thought it would be also, but...

        When I first saw Office 2007, I thought, yikes, this is going to be a nasty upgrade when it comes to training. Many users would prefer to clutch until death (or retirement) a near-broken, byzantine program they know (or think they know) to... well, just about anything new, brilliant or not.

        Or so I thought. When I started demoing and having early discussions about 2007 8 months in advance of the rollout, people were coming up to me and saying "I want this NOW." I was surprised, honestly... beyond the prettier UI--which I thought would cause a revolt, though I kept those thoughts to myself--I didn't think there was that much that would excite anyone. However, I kept things positive and highlighted what was new that I thought people would appreciate, and our users followed--not only did they stay positive, but they started to find a lot of things on their own. It turns out there is a lot to like about Office 2007... some big things of course, but a host of little things that make a difference.

        Bottom line, if you poison everyone's attitude by making sure everyone knows that you don't like the upgrade and tell them about how hard the new interface is to get used to, they won't like it, and they'll think it's really hard to adjust to the new interface. There are a lot of helpful tools out there as well. One that I think is great is the little Flash program (right in Help) that shows an interactive 2003 interface where users can click and find where something is in the 2007 interface, and I think the Quick Access Toolbar makes the transition much easier (plus it's very useful).

        One thing to be aware of, though, is that the Quick Access Toolbar settings don't roam. I would like to know who at Microsoft made that decision and sit down with them for a chat. :) The .qat files are tiny, so file size can't be the reason. You can easily make them roam with a login script, but that shouldn't be necessary, I think.
      • nah...

        outlook looks the same except when a mail is open, then it's jsut the ribbon choices. They can't be more clear. <br>
        Calendar is awesome, users appreciate that, easier than 2003. <br>
        word, excel, pp...the only training i've found is to simply remind people choices are on ribbon, can't miss 'em. <br>
        that's my experience anyway.
        oh well.
      • We thought the same thing...

        We are booting Note out the door and upgrading Outlook and Office 2007 in advance/preparation for Vista. So far our experience has been surprisingly positive. The users take a day to get used to the interface, but then the feed back has been very, very positive. In fact we scaled back some of the project scope because it wasn't needed. We have been presently surprised. In fact the less skilled users have had the least trouble.
        • I'm not surprised

          to hear that the least skilled users are the ones most comfortable using Office 2007. The interface has been significantly dumbed down, which is fine, but the advanced interface customization features have been scrapped as well.

          I'm a pretty advanced Word user and have multiple templates with customized menus and toolbars. All that is gone with Word 2007. I have been unable to discover any method to create custom toolbars in Word 2007, so I can see where advanced users would get very frustrated. One of Word's great strengths was the degree to which you could customize menus, toolbars and hot keys.
          • You can still customize

            There is always the Quick Access Toolbar, and contrary to what some are saying, you can roll out a default QAT by simply copying the relevant .QAT files into a user's profile.

            Beyond the QAT, though, the programmability in Office 2007 is much improved over 2003 (not to mention that VBA support is still there). You can add your own tabs, groupings, and buttons to the ribbon via XML--and it's not that hard, even if you're not a developer. The only restriction is that you cannot add a new button to one of the built-in groupings on one of the built-in tabs, but you can create your own grouping on a built-in tab. Better yet, though, is the fact that you can now create Task Panes on a per-document/template basis, rather than simply on a per-application basis. You can also go far beyond the capabilities of VBA by using Visual Studio Tools for Office. I highly recommend the book "VSTO for Mere Mortals" as a great resource for what you're doing.
          • Like I said, a step backwards

            I don't want just one QAT, and I don't want to have to write code to get my custom toolbars. I want the Office 2003 functionality. Click Customize, and drag the specialized functions, autotext entries, styles, etc. to a custom tool bar.

            In other words, in Word 2003, I could do with menu clicks what you're now telling me I need to learn programming to accomplish and somehow I'm supposed to be impressed.

            Typical Microsoft. Written by geeks for geeks.
          • How many buttons do you need??

            There's lots of room on the QAT. How many buttons do you plan to put on there, anyhow? We put several of our old templates as buttons on the QAT.

            You should definitely check out Quick Styles. They are a much more elegant way to handle custom styles than in the past.

            I think you are looking to do everything in the same way 2003 did it, rather than trying to look for how best to accomplish the same thing in 2007. The custom toolbar approach in 2003 didn't scale. I've been around to too many desks to see the proliferation of toolbars leaving users with a sliver's worth of space left to type their documents. It's time to put the ol' girl down.
    • I beg to differ.

      and do do the majority of 70 million buying into it. <br>
      Seriously, I've loaded MSO 2007 professional pro edition and all you need to remember is that the previous menu items are now on teh ribbon. It makes creating word documents and spreadsheets lightening fast once you learn to use it. I found it very intuiative and picked it up immediately (advanced office user to begin with) It's great. Nothing new really, just everything is where you can see it is the major difference. I love how the ribbon changes as you mouse over parts of your document to show only what you need for that part of the document or spreadsheet etc. The galleries that drop down to allow, for example, graphics alignment in a word document are very cool. Pick a pic or clip and drop it in your document. Then all you need to do is pick where you want it on the page, one click and the text wraps perfectly.
      Sorry to go on but given a chance this is wonderful software. I can't see there being any "anti-ms" thinking when using it.