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Office and SharePoint '15' Expected in Early 2013

Veteran Microsoft reporter Mary Jo Foley unearthed a few clues about Microsoft's product roadmap for this year and the next.

Last week, Foley pointed to two Microsoft charts, reportedly given to partners, that show approximately when we might see certain Microsoft on-premises products and cloud-based services emerge. The documents are a bit dated, originating from Dec. 22, 2011, and lack details about the arrival of Windows 8 and Windows Server 8. However, Microsoft did confirm to Foley that charts were given to partners and show "forward-looking information."

With those caveats out of the way, here are some of the expected Microsoft product release dates, according to the charts. In Microsoft's lingo, those releases are either called "general availability" for on-premises product releases or "service updates" for on-demand solution releases.

  • Internet Explorer 10: General availability trend ranging from June 2012 to early 2013. Currently, IE 10 is released at the Windows 8 "consumer preview" beta stage.
  • Microsoft Office "15", SharePoint "15" and Exchange "15": General availability expected in early 2013.
  • Project "15" and Visio "15": General availability expected in early 2013.
  • Office 365: Service Update 3 arriving before June. The current Service Update 2 was released approximately in late February or March. It looks like Microsoft will have released a total of five service updates before year's end.

Foley fills in a few other details in her article, but some of the charts are rather ambiguous. For instance, Microsoft's charts show a general availability in late 2012 for Windows Phone "future investments." Foley thinks this date represents the Windows Phone 8 release, code-named "Apollo."

Microsoft hasn't confirmed the existence of "Apollo," but Foley's list of features includes multicore processor support, "removable microSD card storage" and "native BitLocker encryption and Secure Boot," among other features.

Experts at the Directions on Microsoft consultancy expect to see Windows Azure updates this month associated with the Microsoft Management Summit, which kicks off on Tuesday. The consultancy also expects to see a cloud-based version of Microsoft Dynamics NAV emerge sometime in the second half of this year, among other predictions.

Microsoft will talk about "private clouds" and the "world of connected devices" in its Tuesday and Wednesday keynote talks at the Microsoft Management Summit. The event is sold out, but the keynotes will be streamed live and can be accessed via this link.

In other roadmap news, Microsoft has quietly extended the "mainstream" support date of Microsoft Office 2007 by six months to Oct. 9, 2012 (it was supposed to end this month). Office 2007 will exit "extended" support on Oct. 10, 2017, as shown in this Microsoft table. Windows Vista fell out of mainstream support earlier this month.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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