Office 14 beta

The Office 12 beta program was at least 12 months, I don’t just remember exactly. On that basis I made my prediction that we would see the O14 beta but not the RTM.

But then someone pointed out that things are a little more competitive these days and such a long beta program could allow competitors time to RTM any super whizzy new features before O14 gets releasd.

That makes sense, but is it realistic to cut the period down?

What do you think? Can/will they cut the beta period? will we see O14 in 2009?

And if so will it be called O2009 or 2010?

Do you even agree there is more competition now than 2006?



21 Responses to “Office 14 beta”

  1. ChipG Says:

    If there’s more competition, they are hiding pretty well. Open Office adoption in corps has picked up, I read, but the fact that it makes the tech news still means it can’t be too much of a trend. I haven’t met anyone who uses it in their company.

  2. Stephane Rodriguez Says:

    Office 2007 shipped simultaneously with Vista, in Nov 2006. My guess is that Office 14 RTM will be aligned to Windows 7 RTM.

  3. jonpeltier Says:

    What competition? OOo? Seriously.

    Their biggest competition, as ever, is with installed Office. With all of the outcry over 2007, I’m sure there will be less rush to buy this version than there was to buy 2007.

    I think we’ll see a beta this year, but I doubt we’ll see RTM. 2007 took over a year, and still it felt rushed into RTM.

    Until I see it, I’ll call it O2007B.

  4. Bob Phillips Says:

    Spot on Jon. For whatever reason the 2007 RTM was definitely released before it was ready (I bet all of the product teams thought so as well, but the Office team rule); they should definitely have held it back to include classic menus, think of how much flak they could have avoided. And it will colour our view of the next release – do we really need a new release?

    I still wonder though, do the people on the ground at MS really understand the feelings out in the marketplace.

  5. Dennis Wallentin Says:

    >>do we really need a new release?

    For us and the rest of the world the answer is probably no. However, the “money machine” MSFT needs always new versions of all their products in order to please the stock markets demand for high return on a quartely basis.

    In the old DOS days we gracefully avoided to use every new version with a “0”, like 3.0 as they were regarded as buggy versions. Now with the “year” models we seems to forget it. O2007B is actually a good naming of the present version!.

    Kind regards,

  6. Stephane Rodriguez Says:

    “2007 took over a year, and still it felt rushed into RTM.”

    They had to stabilize the new file format library, the converters and the new charting renderer. And componentize for Excel services needs. In Office 14 it will be probably more additions at higher levels than in Office 2007.

  7. jonpeltier Says:

    Bob –

    “People on the ground” – If you mean the Office astronauts who only interact with their customers indirectly, no, I doubt they understand. If you mean the product groups themselves, I think they have a much better understanding. But I also don’t think they really have sufficient resources to do what they would like, since so many resources are diverted to keeping the astronauts in space.

    Dennis –

    To clarify, I was calling the next version O2007B, not the current version.

    Stephane –

    Dont forget bug fixes and restoring functionality that was inadvertently omitted in 2007.

  8. Dennis Wallentin Says:


    “B” has always been used in short for Beta (which explain why vendors never use it).

    If You call the next version for O2007B what do You call the present version? “A” for alpha ;-)

    Kind regards,

  9. Dick Kusleika Says:

    2007 will probably be the next OfficeXP. People who bought it will jump to the next version as soon as it comes out. The rest will wait for the next version and jump over it.

  10. jonpeltier Says:

    Dennis –

    Okay, let’s change the terminology. I’ll call the current version O2007.00 and the next one O2007.01.

  11. Simon Says:

    “Office 14 RTM will be aligned to Windows 7 RTM.”

    Why? because that worked so well for Office 2007??

    Office was completely eclipsed by Vista and got very little coverage. As marketing that was a fail – they should release it on a quiet news day when all those journalists are short of stuff to write.

    I’m not saying you are wrong of course, indeed now you mention it, I agree its very likely. But its still a crap idea.

  12. Simon Says:

    The official name for the next version of Office is

    Microsoft Office Azure cloud live services productivity zune system and collaboration orinoco services for Microsoft Windows. 2.0 ™

    With no shortening allowed.

    What was that sketch (from years ago) where someone was called ‘..flim flam biscuit barrel..’?

    Here y’are:

    thats the new name

  13. Charles Says:

    My wishful thinking is 12 months of bug fixing and performance improvements:

    O14 Beta 1 in September 2009:
    – rearranged/improved Fluent interface for XL + Classic option
    – Performance at same level as XL2003 for VBA & Charts etc
    – C API extended to include all VBA methods & properties
    – VBA performance bugs fixed
    – improved Lookups and SUMIFs etc

    O14 Beta 2 in April 2010:
    – stability better than XL12

    O14 RTM in November 2010
    – stability at same level as or better than XL2003
    – performance better than XL2003

  14. jonpeltier Says:

    Simon –

    “Office [2007] was completely eclipsed by Vista”

    Happened with Office XP and Windows XP as well. Office XP is the forgotten version. I think I’ve only had two or three clients using Office XP. It wasn’t a bad version, either, but there was outwardly nothing special about it.

    Charles –

    Not using 2007 for your stability and performance benchmarks?

  15. Harlan Grove Says:

    Has anything changed since Office was first bundled? Are there suddenly more Excel users than Word or Outlook users? If that did happen, I could see some slight possibility of improvement. Otherwise, the common Office UI will continue to be what the powers that be consider to be most useful for Word and Outlook users, and Excel users can enjoy them or choke on them with equal indifference to those powers that be.

    I’ll take Excel Whatever more seriously than Effluent 1.0 with Excel if the new version’s macro recorder can record as many UI interactions as Excel 2003’s could. That should be simple, shouldn’t it? The Excel team should have the specs for what Excel 2003’s macro recorder could handle, no?

  16. dougaj4 Says:

    In my experience the stability of XL2007 is already considerably better than XL2003.

    Wouldn’t it be more productive to post performance complaints (with specific examples) at the Microsoft Excel Blog?:

  17. sam Says:

    “It wasn’t a bad version, either, but there was outwardly nothing special about it.”

    – It was the last version of Office which had a Developer version – That let you create DLL’s /COM Addins from within Office VBA

    The removal of the Developer version of Office from Office 2003 was the first sign of trouble at the office team…. It gave us a hint the MS no longer looked at Office as a Developer platform to develop serious applications

  18. Harlan Grove Says:

    Excel XP was revolutionary – it was the first version with colored worksheet tabs!

  19. Harlan Grove Says:

    Venting from a newsgroup thread: one thing I’d REALLY like to see in Excel 14 would be allowing use of range intersections and unions and arrays DIRECTLY in off-worksheet calculations like conditional formatting formulas in ALL cases where you COULD refer to names defined as range intersections or unions or arrays. Clearly since previous versions of Excel CAN handle these objects in those cases, this is purely an ARTIFICIAL SYNTACTIC restriction in the dialogs in which one enters these off-worksheet formulas. Leads one to wonder whether the cell formula parser programmers aren’t willing to share their code with the conditional formatting or data validation programmers.

  20. CAMPBELL Says:

    Cant wait to see wht ms does with the new office

  21. Chris Radford Says:

    I’d love for excel to include built in box & whisker plots, and stem and leaf graphs. Their exclusion baffles me, and everyone else who has complete science up to at least high school level…

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