Microsoft: Next Office server releases not until 2015

Microsoft: Next Office server releases not until 2015

Summary: The next on-premises versions of Microsoft's Exchange Server and SharePoint Server won't be available until some time in calendar 2015.


Microsoft won't be releasing new versions of its on-premises Exchange or SharePoint servers in calendar 2014.


Instead, the company will focus on rolling out new features for the online versions of those products, which are the core of Office 365, this year. And in 2015, Microsoft will deliver new on-prem versions of those two servers, according to Jeff Teper, the Microsoft Corporate Vice President of Server Services.

I had been thinking Microsoft would deliver next Office servers this year, given that the company has started its Exchange Technology Adoption Program (TAP) testing program already. Clues about a new version of Lync Server coming later this year also made me think the next Office server wave (codenamed "Office 16") would arrive in 2014.

But that's not the case. Instead of falling on the near side of Microsoft's "every 2 to 3 year" Office release cycle, the next versions will fall closer to the three-year mark.

I know quite a few IT pros who will be ecstatic about this news, as they are only now migrating to Exchange 2013 and SharePoint 2013, which Microsoft released to manufacturing on October 11, 2012.


As Microsoft execs have said before, customers who don't want rapid, regular updates to their servers should stay on-prem. Those who do want the latest features as soon as they are available should go with the cloud versions.

At this week's SharePoint 2014 conference in Las Vegas, Microsoft won't be talking about or showing off publicly the next version of its Office client software, officials said. There won't be any discussion about the rumored Office for iPad, the coming touch-first Metro-Style/Windows Store "Gemini" apps or the next version of Mac Office, officials said.

I asked whether the fact that the next Office server release isn't coming until 2015 has any implications for when Microsoft will deliver the next version of Office for Windows or Office for Mac. A Microsoft spokesperson said the company had no comment.

That means, for now, we don't know for sure whether Microsoft will deliver its next version of Office for Windows and Office for Mac this year or next. With the last several Office releases, Microsoft RTM'd Office client and server at the same time.

Topics: Enterprise Software, Apple, Cloud, Windows, IT Policies


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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  • I don't think it would be a big deal either

    A lot of sites I visit are either happy with Office 2010 or 2007, the uptake for Office 2013 is sparse. I am going to be honest, Office has become a harder sell with each release. The suite for the majority of users has been good enough since 2007.
  • You miss out in not upgrading MS Office or Outlook past version 2007

    Your sites are missing out on many enhanced features in 2013 that integrate Office, Windows 7 or 8, SharePoint, and Exchange. Also, security and archive functions are greatly improved or available for the first time in 2010 or 2013. You should try to avoid being more than one version behind. It is a pain to upgrade, and can be costly depending upon your licensing models. It is not "good enough" to stay on version 2007 for most sites. I would not do that if I had 50+ users.