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Well, they say perseverence pays off. While “they” seem to be right, I still have yet to figure out exactly who the heck “they” happen to be… *crickets*

Anywho, I managed to get a hold of a very recent presentation regarding Software + Services and amongst the plethora of information is a small-yet-informative section regarding Office 14. In one slide, there are 3 pillars listed as an Office 14 value proposition by “dealing with the paradox of empowerment at the top and control at the bottom.” The 3 pillars with their generic descriptions as they appear in the presentation are as follows:

Ubiquity and Specialization (Role-Based Productivity): Anywhere availability for information and applications. Avoid information overload through personalized workspaces and reporting for each end user.

Consumerization and Governance: The new “thumb generation” comes to work with an expectation to use devices and services uncommon in today’s enterprise class systems. At the same time, the enterprise must also be able to maintain governance by enforcing policies to those new systems and services (today: instant messenging, VoIP and web conferencing; tomorrow: live workspaces, content sharing, peer to peer, web 2.0,…).

Flexibility and Consolidation: Seamless integration with third party back end systems (CRM, ERP, etc.). Need for a cost-efficient platform that doesn’t require allocation of additional resources, consolidation of specialized technologies.

After reading that, bear in mind that Office is primarily an enterprise product. Sure, the usage of Office extends to the realm of home users, students, etc., but the functionality and productivity for those realms has been well-established since Office 2003, though the ribbon bar in Office 2007 has received mixed reviews. Because of this, the breadth of Office 14 is absolutely business-centric. I haven’t seen Office 14 yet, nor have I found any information regarding a UI facelift or what they have planned in terms of user experience but everything I’ve personally run across thus far has pertained specifically to making Office much more productive for enterprises. Not that increased productivity hasn’t always been a goal with Office but my point is that you probably won’t feel much change at all in terms of productivity and performance as a home user, student, or general enthusiast. All of the aforementioned is merely personal opinion, though. Feel free to comment and let me know what YOU think!

Now, without any further adieu, here is a screenshot of the roadmap slide which shows Office 14 in alignment with a 2010 release (click for full-sized image):

Well, I guess that sums it up; Office 14 RTM appears to have officially spilled over into 2010. Personally, I’m in no rush for a new office product, so the fact that they’re a year behind schedule doesn’t affect me at all. As history has shown, I would rather them spend the time on a product to get it right than simply to get it out in the marketplace. Where this jives with my recent post of Office 14 having a final name of Office System 2009, who knows. I guess we’ll see what the cat drags in as we approach Beta 1, which is sure to come in the first half of this year.



  1. That graphic to me could mean either 2009 or 2010 as it straddles it. Saw elsewhere today that aiming for simultaneous launch with Windows 7.

  2. I thought something similar but every year listed along the timeline seems to have a purpose. Although Office 2007 RTM’d in 2007, tier 2 shows Office-related 2008 releases. With nothing being listed after 2008 products, the only purpose the 2010 year seems to serve is a representation of Office 14. Why not 2009 instead of 2010? The previous years listed don’t follow an odd/even pattern.

    I could be wrong and everything I’ve found and posted regarding Office 14 being release in 2009 could indeed be applicable. Regardless, that was my methodology.


  3. Office 2007 RTM’d in November ’06, though.

    Anyway, given that so little has been revealed about Office 14 (has there been a single screenshot of a non-web application, yet?), 2010 sounds reasonable. I am curious to see how much they’ve changed the interface from from Office 2007 – after such a big change from 2003, I can’t imagine there will be anything huge (apart from switching over a few more apps to the ribbon). Let’s just hope they don’t go using that dreadful blue menu button from the Windows 7 ribbon :)

  4. Of course they’re “behind.” You don’t think that going back and adding OpenDocument support to Office 2007 SP2 would come for free did you? :)

  5. I think you’re reading too much into that slide. Keep in mind MSFT has a mid-year FY change and that could also signify FY2010 which includes half of 2009.

    Also, some public slides tend to leave things vague and safe until it’s more public and concrete as to when release is. MSFT has a target RTM date in mind and they will try and stick close to it, but it’s not set in stone. Office and Windows aren’t ‘date driven’ releases other than a ball-park 6 month period until you get closer to that time fram and they have confidence in how the development and quality of the product is going.

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