Will there be a new application in Office 15?

Will there be a new application in Office 15?

Summary: Microsoft is still saying very little publicly about Office 15. But officials did share some of the priorities that are affecting their thinking in the creation of the next version during a day-long "Future of Productivity" event for press and analysts on January 28.

SHARE:

Microsoft is still saying very little publicly about Office 15. But officials did share some of the priorities that are affecting their thinking in the creation of the next version during a day-long "Future of Productivity" event for press and analysts on January 28.

"Office 15 is the next natural step in (our) investments" that Microsoft made with the Office 14/Office 2010 product family, said Microsoft Business Division President Kurt DelBene.

Among the specific investments that Microsoft plans to continue to hone, according to DelBene, are the "creation experiences," like video and image editing; the integration of social interactions on the consumer and business fronts; the incorporation of more features and functions specific to educational users; unified communications, including better interoperability with Windows Live Messenger; and new uses and experiences for SkyDrive.

There also are some things on the to-do list which may or may not make it into Office 15. Microsoft is planning, somewhere down the line, to add new/additional standalone apps to the Office suite, he said.

"We don't think we've covered all the bases," said DelBene."We're always looking for what new productivity experiences" customers want."

DelBene said that "new applications will join the Office family as a result."  He noted that Microsoft doesn't "go searching for new applications," but creates them from user needs.

Rumors have percolated that Microsoft might add a new application to Office 15. I'd heard that a business intelligence/charting type app was on the short list.

After today, I'm wondering whether we could see some kind of "meeting" app might be on the short list.

DelBene said "We have a major investment around making meetings great." He noted that Microsoft has done work on every phase of meetings -- from Outlook invitations, to notetaking (with OneNote), to broadcasting (with some of the new features in PowerPoint 2010).

"I could see those pieced together over time," DelBene told attendees of the Future of Productivity event.

(He noted that Microsoft doesn't consider "meetings" just corporate meetings. The company also is looking at ways to make "consumer meetings," among friends, family members and small groups, easier to coordinate and attend/participate in.

Microsoft officials still aren't saying when the company hopes to deliver Office 15 (though word on the street is 2013) or when testers should expect a test build.

Anyone out there have any burning requests for a new Office application?

Topics: Collaboration, Microsoft, Software

About

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).

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

37 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Burning requests for a new Office application?

    Yes, I'd like some kind of tool which can sync my shiny new Windows Phone 7 device with my local Outlook PST file, like maybe through a USB or wireless link...
    JohnMorgan3
  • Doesn't take much...

    ...to get you MS drones whipped up into a frenzy over vaporware.
    james347
    • Vaporware refers to an uncertainty of release

      @james347

      Office 15 is real and will be released. I'm not sure why you would consider that vaporware.
      LiquidLearner
      • Nah, it technically is vaporware

        since it is being hyped long before release. But it is vaporware in the same way that 11.04 is, 10.7 is, 3.0 was for the longest time, Chrome OS is (has it shipped yet? Not to my knowledge), and a few other things.

        Technically the iPhone 5 and iPad 2 are just vaporware right now, too.
        Michael Alan Goff
      • RE: Will there be a new application in Office 15?

        @goff256

        Explain how it is "hyped long before release"? The fact that they are acknowledging that there will be a new release and provide some insight into their thought process around the next release? Was there some big announcement or marketing event touting Office 15 that I missed?

        Reread the first sentence in this post: "Microsoft is still saying very little publicly about Office 15"
        ababiec
      • My mistake, I didn't word it right

        "Vaporware describes products, usually computer hardware or software, not released on the date announced by their developer, or announced months or years before their release. "

        SO SAYS WIKIPEDIA
        Michael Alan Goff
      • RE: Will there be a new application in Office 15?

        @goff256.

        "Vapourware" is prejorative term, implying doubt about that the product will ship. There is surely litte doubt Micrsoft will ship Office <i>15</i>. Labelling it as vapourware therefore says more about the accuser than the accused.

        Incidently, selective quoting is a very poor form of argument. That Wikipedia entry starts "Vaporware describes products, usually computer hardware or software, not released on the date announced by their developer, or announced months or years before their release. <i>The word usually implies a negative opinion of a product or developer, and pessimistic uncertainty that it will eventually be released.</i>"
        njoho
      • I say go with it

        And use it against anyone who is fawning over the iPhone 5, Google Chrome OS, OSX 10.7, Ubuntu 11.04, Firefox 4, and so forth.
        Michael Alan Goff
    • Better than that it's comedy gold

      ?consumer meetings? ; seriously?

      Go MS!
      Richard Flude
      • what is the number one selling office suite for a Mac

        @Richard Flude
        Oh yeah - M$ office.
        Ron Bergundy
    • Doesn't take much for you either...

      @james347 As you were the second commenter, it doesn't take much for a troll like you to comment on an MS story.

      Either that or you are secretly excited for Office 15 and are just in denial.
      dazzlingd
    • vaporware? isn't that what your allways talking about

      "if, when, you just wait my product i want will" stuff?
      Ron Bergundy
    • RE: Will there be a new application in Office 15?

      @james347

      It doesn't take much to get you whipped into a frenzy about any article about Microsoft, troll away dirt bag. Ideally you would add something useful to the conversation but not suprisingly, that has never happened.
      hopp64
  • Bring back PhotoDraw

    Microsoft Office is sorely lacking a Graphics Program. They had it with the vector/graphics program PhotoDraw with the Office 2000 release but killed it for no reason. I thought it was a decent, easy to use program that simplified the process of creating graphics, editing images and creating 2d illustrations. Although a lot of the functionality of that program has been woven into Office apps throughout the years, a dedicated program just for graphics needs to be returned to the Office family.

    In regards to meetings, does Microsoft really need any more apps like that? Between Outlook, Exchange, Lync, Exchange Online, SharePoint, OneNote, Outlook Web Access, I don't think another app is really needed. Just make the existing products work together better.
    Mr. Dee
    • RE: Will there be a new application in Office 15?

      @Mr. Dee ... Exactly! :)
      GoodThings2Life
    • RE: Will there be a new application in Office 15?

      I agree on the PhotoDraw application. I've reinstalled it with each release of Office, and though I do use other packages as well such as Corel products and some of the others, for some of the occasional quick work I still gravitate to PhotoDraw. It was straightforward, fast and efficient even though the file format was not unniversal. Update it a bit and it would be a great addition that would serve the vast majority of the users in the MS universe.
      rileyrc
    • RE: Will there be a new application in Office 15?

      @Mr. Dee
      True -- Windows Meeting Space, Remote Desktop Connection, Remote Assistance, Windows Live Messenger and Microsoft Office Live Meeting have replaced NetMeeting according to Wikipedia
      markcnz
    • RE: Will there be a new application in Office 15?

      @Mr. Dee Can PhotoDraw do anything that MS Publisher cannot do?
      pupkin_z
  • In-app Store and Online Help Community

    I think MS should focus on bringing an in-app store to Office, where addons, experiences, services, and programs developed from Office APIs by third parties, can be purchased. In as much as the sale of platforms can take off with the availability of apps for the platforms, I believe MS could significantly stimulate the growth of Office, by optimizing its ecosystem for this purpose. Also Office really needs an app store to ensure the quality of the addons and services available.

    I also believe that MS should come out with an online help community app, that features related content found on Channel 9 (which could be expanded and include coverage of live events), as well as other stuff scattered all over the web. I believe the app could be supported by a large social network, which could in turn support various forums / discussion groups, and other social network services . I believe one important goal of the app, should be the development of new innovative interactive user experiences, that go way beyond what's available on the web.

    I believe the above can be a new stream of revenue for MS in several ways. Apart from getting a cut from addon / services sales, vendors could support video shows and live broadcasts in the Help app, with ads similar to what is seen on TV, but also having an interactive dimension. E.g. if a user selects a video while a Kinko ad is running, the user could be taken to the Kinko addon in the app store. Also the content in the online help app could include advertising, and MS and third parties could offer several paid services from within the online help app itself.
    P. Douglas
  • RE: Will there be a new application in Office 15?

    Yes I still use Photodraw V2 and would like to see a refresh. Why the heck they gave it the chop I do not know, they just do not seem to listen to their customers e.g. the ribbon
    lesoudeur