The Channel logo


By | Gavin Clarke 12th May 2005 07:46

Next Microsoft Office due in 2006

Stop using Office 1997, won't you?

Microsoft has at last named a date - of sorts - for the next release of Office. Known generally as Office 12, the updated version of Microsoft's suite is coming next year, Bill Gates says.

Until now Microsoft has kept mum on Office 12, referring only to availability during the vague "Longhorn wave" of products. Gates, Microsoft's chief software architect, did not provide an exact shipment date, but speculation has shipping pinned a little more precisely for July 2006.

Office 12 will become the first new version of Office to be released in three years.

Speaking yesterday in Las Vegas, as Microsoft released Window Mobile 5.0, Gates hinted that Office 12 would see improvements in workflow, rights management advanced scheduling, sharing and business intelligence.

"Those are areas where Office has gotten richer and will in the next big release that's coming next year," he said.

No matter what Microsoft throws into Office 12, the company faces an up-hill task persuading users happy with older versions of Office to upgrade. Office 97 accounts for 30 per cent of the customer base, according to analysts. Customers are happy that Office 97 provides them with the level of functionality need to simply get their job done, without the need for advanced collaboration capabilities so beloved by Gates and found in later versions of Office. ®

Related stories

Sun plans summer StarOffice update
Microsoft and SAP deepen alliance
Palladium tech up for discussion, says MS security chief

alert Send corrections


Frank Jennings

What do you do? Use manual typwriters or live in a Scottish croft? Our man advises
A rusty petrol pump at an abandoned gas station. Pic by Silvia B. Jakiello via shutterstock

Trevor Pott

Among other things, Active Directory needs an overhaul
Baby looks taken aback/shocked/affronted. Photo by Shutterstock

Kat Hall

Plans for 2 million FTTP connections in next four years 'not enough'
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella


Suit-and-tie-wearing man tries to meditate, take deep breaths in faux yoga pose. Photo by Shutterstock
Emotional intelligence, not tech skills, is the way to woo suits
League of gentlemen poster - Tubbs and Edward at the local shop. Copyright BBC
One reselling man tells his tale of woe