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."
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.