Office 2007 SP2

In my mind I had Office 14 pencilled in for late 2009. Office 2007 came out late 2006, there was talk of 2.5-3 year release cycles so mid to late 09 seemed about right.

Anyway I spotted this Office 2007 SP2 due H1 2009 comment here. I don’t know if that is an official date, or just something the Register made up (remember their death of VBA fantasy?).

If SP2 comes out mid 09, then I can’t see Office 14 arriving before 2010 can you?

Mind you if they are going to add ODF support in a service pack, they could sneak in a classic UI without the marketing folks finding out. If they even just unshuffled it I would be keen to get in amongst some of the new functionality.

So anyway I’m looking for guesses, educated or otherwise, about release dates. Sorry, Microsoft employees are probably not allowed to participate (unless you’re incognito). In fact anyone with special info under NDA, or otherwise probably can’t chip in. The prize is full ‘I told you so’ bragging rights come the day. Nearest quarter wins, I reckon Q2 2010, 3.5 yrs from 2007. (Split bragging rights in the event of a tie!)

Although looking at the PDC sessions here there seems to be a fair focus on Visual studio 10 and Windows 7. So maybe they are planning big bang ‘EVO 2 the OW starts now part2’, I’d still guess 2010 though, what about you?



13 Responses to “Office 2007 SP2”

  1. Jon Peltier Says:

    “…they could sneak in a classic UI…”

    Still fantasizing, eh?

  2. Johan Nordberg Says:

    Since Windows 7 will have ribbons I would be really surpriced if they reverted back to menus and toolbars i SP2 or Office 14.

    I think the question should be how long it takes for Open Office to get ribbons. They copy everything else Microsoft Office have, so why not the ribbons… On the other hand, maybe OO will be the Ribbon haters choice and they have a USP there. :)

  3. jonpeltier Says:

    Johan –

    I think one reason for the ribbon was to have something that MS clearly had rights to, and could thus prevent competitors from mimicking their applications.

  4. Rob Bruce Says:

    Jon, it’s already possible to by third party ribbon controls from the likes of Infragistics and Devexpress and I’m sure no royalties to MS are involved.

    I’d be fully satisfied if the next version of office gave us the customisation opportunities for the ribbon back that we already had for commandbars. In that sense the problem isn’t the ribbon per se, but its half-arsed implementation.

  5. Biggus Dickus Says:

    Just maybe they mean H1 2009 of MS’s Fiscal Year (which starts in July). Internally they use those kind of terms regularly to refer to times within THEIR corporate year.

    I have no inside knowledge but I’d be disappointed if SP2 isn’t ot this calendar year.

    As for O14 – I can only hope late calendar 2009……


  6. Al Gill Says:

    I’d be happy if they just got SP2 out – has anybody else noticed how flakey graphs are in Excel now we have this glorious new GUI?

    Re the ribbon, I’m ambivalent. I think it’s good for newbies (possibly even how XL should have been done with the benefit of hindsight) BUT the ribbon is a real pain in the neck for those of us who spend most of our lives in front of XL and it slows us down.

    PS Would second the desire for better customisability by the way.

  7. Harlan Grove Says:

    Johan – OOo copies Microsoft Office just as Microsoft copied Lotus 1-2-3? After all, 1-2-3 Release 4 had programmable ‘Smart Icons’ before Excel 5 provided programmable toolbars. Copying is flattery and normal business practice.

    FWIW, not even VisiCalc was an original concept, and all other spreadsheets since have been knock-offs of each other.

    As for OOo Calc copying Excel, it’s hardly a perfect copy since it provides such useful features as RELATIVE worksheet references (a la 1-2-3 and Quattro Pro, but unlike Excel, which remains the most primitive of 3D-ish spreadsheets in this respect), regular expression support in Edit > Find and Replace and MATCH and SEARCH functions, and a Paste Special dialog in which the various options are check boxes rather than radio buttons, so pasting values and comments but not formatting takes just one operation rather than the two Excel still requires.

    That said, there are other things Excel does better. But the point is that OOo is nearly as good and not exactly a clone, AND IT HAS A BETTER UI!

    As for Windows 7 . . . thank God there’s Linux and Mac OS!

    BTW, one of my kids now has a Mac with Office 2008. Gosh! The big grid, all the breathtaking new features, and no ribbon in sight! Now if it only had VBA.

  8. Simon Says:

    I don’t see anything new in the ribbon, its just a fat clumsy toolbar with less useful features than the industry standard it tries to replace. The big issue is shuffling and hiding commands, and what that implies for the future, and their valuation of experts who had invested the time to learn classic excel.

    I don’t think you can patent fat and clumsy, but I’m sure someone will try.

    I hope you don’t think MS invented the WIMP UI? Clippy? yes, Personalised menus? Yes, WIMP? No!

    A bit of UI polish might be handy in OOo, but I fully expect them to continue to focus on features users actually want (eg VBA) not dumbassed UI fails.

  9. Stephane Rodriguez Says:

    “If SP2 comes out mid 09, then I can’t see Office 14 arriving before 2010 can you?”

    Usually, you have two separate teams : a maintenance team who is in control of the support branch (Office 2007 service packs), and a new dev team who is in control of the current branch. Because of that, I don’t see why one should ship before another. They have mostly their own schedule.

    “Mind you if they are going to add ODF support in a service pack, they could sneak in a classic UI without the marketing folks finding out.”

    Allow me a cynical comment. The chances that this thing is developed by an intern are very high. I don’t see this causing the slightest changes to their agenda. Besides this, the support of ODF is a reaction over political matters, not a genuine support. OOXML was intended to kill ODF (OOXML rips off everything ODF and it adds layers of proprietary legacy only to ensure the life of implementers is going to be miserable).

  10. Dennis Wallentin Says:

    Regarding third-parts tools to create Ribbon UI with:

    For any non-trivial solutions we must license it with MSFT. It’s free and rather easy to do.

    Two conclusions:
    MSFT can keep track of all solutions worldwide with the Ribbon UI.
    Vendors like C1 et al only provide the development tools.

    I would also like to see that MSFT provides us with new API to control the Ribbon UI.

    Kind regards,

  11. Charles Says:

    “For any non-trivial solutions we must license it with MSFT. It’s free and rather easy to do.”

    IIRC its only free if MSoft thinks that you don’t compete with MS Office!

  12. Simon Says:

    I thought it was not available to products that compete with Office?

    And do you think they are reducing the number of apps under the Office umbrella or increasing?

    You could have your your clever messaging/whiteboard app all ribboned up, then in a couple of years time I guess your right to use it could expire if something similar appears in Office? that would be an arse wouldn’t it? I havent checked the legal minutiae so I could be talking nonsense.

  13. Harlan Grove Says:

    Interesting counterpoint: Microsoft & Windows – patent the UI, emcumber developers, wind up with a dog’s lunch; Apple & Mac OS – provide clear design guidelines and tools, wind up with elegance. Somewhat tongue in cheek, but the relative ugliness of the Windows software ‘ecosystem’ is mostly Microsoft’s fault, and the Ribbon ain’t helping.

    The good news about the Effluent UI’s licensing terms is that it guarantees that the FOSS I use won’t be encumbered with it.

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