Office 2010 is yet to be released, but Microsoft has already begun planning for Office 2013 or Office 15. InfoWorld and Microsoft Kitchen has managed to unearth some preliminary information about Office 15.
The first bit of information is that Microsoft has chosen to continue with their recent no-nonsense naming policy and has codenamed Office v15 as simply Office 15.
As far as features are concerned, other than offering a “new visual & interaction experience”, Office 15 will sport drastically improved collaboration tools. Word Program Manager, Jonathan Bailor revealed in an interview, “In Office 15, we’d love to take collaboration and communication to the next level. We’ve unlocked all of these new ways to work and a new set of expectations from users, and we’re like, ‘Put us back in the ring; we’re ready for round two.’ Until coauthoring a document is as easy and ubiquitous as e-mail attachments, our job isn’t done”.
Microsoft employee, Ben Gable, mentioned in his LinkedIn profile that Excel will be getting a major new feature, while an online ad for a test engineer hinted that Outlook will continue working on improved social networking integration.
Microsoft has also been talking about Office Mobile 15 in their job advertisements. Here is a particularly interesting snippet uncovered by Microsoft Kitchen:
Now is your chance to get in on the ground floor of the Office organization’s newest team. The Office Mobile suite includes Communicator Mobile, Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote, SharePoint, with more applications and capabilities being planned as part of the Office 15 product suite. This unique position involves technical challenges of working across multiple operating systems and devices as well as the chance to work with teams across the company and around the world. Our key focus going forward is designing and developing new end to end Mobile Office scenarios that greatly improve mobile meetings, productivity, and document management. All while taking advantage of the greater computing power, networking, memory, screen & touch, and GPS capabilities on next generation mobile computing platforms
Although there has been rumors that Microsoft will be ditching the Ribbon UI in favor of a completely new interface, given the short timeframe, such a drastic change appears rather unlikely.
What new features would you like to see in Office 2013? Don’t forget to let us know.