Ballmer: Office 14 not this year

Ballmer: Office 14 not this year

Summary: During his annual "Strategic Update" briefing with Wall Street analysts on February 24, CEO Steve Ballmer said Office 14 won't be shipping in 2009.


During his annual "Strategic Update" briefing with Wall Street analysts on February 24, CEO Steve Ballmer said Office 14 won't be shipping in 2009.

"Office 14 will not be this year," Ballmer told analysts.

Microsoft officials have been careful not to provide a ship-date target for the next version of Office. However, last year, more than a few times execs slipped up and indicated Office 14 would ship in 2009. Just a month or two ago, Microsoft reps were telling corporate customers that Office 14 would ship in either late 2009 or early 2010.

Microsoft released an alpha version of Office 14 -- which includes a new Office for Sales SKU -- in January to selected customers. A first beta is looking like this summer, according to sources with whom I'm spoken recently. Microsoft is aiming to release Office 14 client and SharePoint Server 14 together. It also is aiming to ship the next version of Office Communications Server, tentatively known as OCS 2010, next year, as well.

Office not shipping until 2010 makes for an interesting launch season in the coming months.

Windows 7 is still tracking to be released to manufacturing by the third quarter of 2009, sources said. Will Microsoft delay the "official" launch of Windows 7 to time it with Office 14 in early 2010? Or has Microsoft decided it doesn't really matter whether it launches Windows 7 and Office 14 together (even though many business users prefer to deploy new Windows and Office releases together)?

Topics: Microsoft, Collaboration, 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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  • Doubtful they will delay Win7

    I doubt they will delay Win7, which for all practical purposes is complete, until Office 14 is ready. Especially if Office 14 hasn't even entered BETA testing. Personally, I would like to know what changes we will see with Sharepoint.
    • Second...

      Can't wait to see it at SPC in October. Vegas baby!!
  • RE: Ballmer: Office 14 not this year

    Usually takes longer to get a new Windows release ready for users than a new Office release, so Corporates could concentrate on the non-Office compat testing for Win7 and then add on the O14 testing once it is released.
  • Where is the Beta?

    I have 3 things to say -

    Please let us open more than one Outlook profile at a time (yes we can open more than one account in a profile but seperate profiles are often necessary).

    Please add better support for pictures in access - inventory, personnel management, sales etc - scripting is rediculous and using previous versions of office to enable OLE is absurd.

    Office toolbar classic - too many people won't let me upgrade them to office 2007 because they refuse to deal with the new toolbars. I'm fine with them but many people don't want to relearn a software application to be as productive as they were in the previous version.
    • Very good point

      [i]Office toolbar classic - too many people won't let me upgrade them to office 2007 because they refuse to deal with the new toolbars.[/i]

      I recall using the individual products which now make up the Office Suite since about 1993. It's one thing of "offer" a new way of doing things, a la the ribbon. But, after nearly 15 years, for them to just say "Learn the new way" was quite annoying. Many of our new PCs come with Office 2007 installed and the users are usually excited when they know it's coming. Before I deploy their PC, I have them come to my office and show them what they're getting into. Every single time, I've been asked to remove 2007 and install 2003.

      Long story short: Bring back our menus.
      • I don't get it

        I'm not saying they shouldn't offer the new ribbons but I'm stunned they didn't offer the old toolbars as well. Or the old toolbars on the new "ribbons" so the client is comfortable. Yes lots of young kids easily adjust to the new ribbons but most seasoned employees are very frustrated by the new format. I think MS hurt it self by not offering the choice. I'm not sure which I'd choose but most of my clients between 30-60 don't want to deal with the new toolbars.

        I imagine if I worked for high school students they'd welcome the new toolbars - but they aren't my target market and I'm stunned an oldie like Ballmer is throwing away the people in his age group - then again I'm not sure Ballmer knows how to boot a PC let alone notice anything different in the MS products. He certainly didn't think there was anything wrong with Vista when he forced it down the throats of so many PC manufacturers.
        • Jeez

          Vista wasn't that bad, and Microsoft kept
          trying to delay it so they could make it
          better. Everyone kept telling them to hurry up,
          and they released it. Then people are angry
          it's 'not as good as XP.' I don't get it.

          It was more stable than XP, had more
          possibilities with new features like DX10,
          better security, and wasn't hard to use. It was
          DIFFERENT to use, but so what? If you don't
          like the new style, don't use it.

          As for the ribbon: Legacy toolbars would have
          to go on for generations. Windows 95, guys. 12
          years before an interface update in 2007. It
          was about time. You may say nothing was wrong
          with the old interface! but there was. It was
          slower to navigate, bloated, and you'd have to
          remember 15 menus to get to some of the deeper
          commands. Now it's right in your face.

          And if you really HAVE to have your old
          toolbars back, there is a download.

          And as for forcing it down manufacturer's
          throats? I guess he should still offer 95 and
          98 to them, too, right? XP was ancient. It
          wasn't something that could be fixed with a
          patch. MS has to compete with Apple and Linux.
          If the other two can do it, then MS has to
          soon, or make it easy to add that
          • re: Jeez

            Menus have been a "standard" of nearly all applications (well not vim)
            since even DOS based systems. To interfere with productivity without
            good reason and time to learn a new interface seems to be criminal.

            Yeah, once you learn the "Ribbon" it can be a more smooth and quick experience. But is Microsoft going to re-teach my 50 - 75 year old

            People on this blog actually know (for the most part) how to keep
            learning, as IT never stops moving. Most consumers of IT just want it to
            work the way it always has.
  • Its not Office they can't release

    Office 14 has been coded for at least a year, the issue now is tying it to SharePoint and Office Live and other mothership products.

    To the average user, Office 14 will look like and perform exactlly the same as the current version does. Its all about getting a monthly fee...
    • troll <nt>

  • RE: Ballmer: Office 14 not this year

    You are kidding when you say it's all done. It's never all done from a programmers view. The release code is open until it ships, period. The issues are what feature will be included. The ribbon, and I agree is ok, but menus are what people need, and like. The flipping of a few check boxes would have been nice for us using the software to get work done. I have seen all to often install 2003 over 2007 because of the ribbon. So for those few that have not used Office they learn the new way, and us old farts learn to get by on 2003. I look for features in the next version to be cloud related for sure, but for 90% of the old user (listen MS) make it easy to see the old interface please!
  • RE: Ballmer: Office 14 not this year

    Yes, and no 64 bit version either. I don't understand as all subsequent Windows Server O/S's will be 64 bit, and the majority of Windows 7 licences will be 64 bit, and Apple (whom Microsoft sells its Office suite to as well) will release Snow Leopard in 64 bits only.
  • RE: Ballmer: Office 14 not this year
  • RE: Ballmer: Office 14 not this year

    I wasn't expecting a 5-star review. I would of picked this up regardless of the review because I loved the original, but it is a nice surpris
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