Newest Versions of Office, SharePoint Not Due Until 2013

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

Last week, veteran Microsoft-focused report Foley unveiled two Microsoft charts, reportedly given to partners, that list release dates for some popular Microsoft on-premises products and services running in the cloud. The documents, from late December 2011, lack details about the release of Windows 8 and Windows Server 8, but the Redmond firm did confirm to Foley that charts were given to partners and show "forward-looking information."

According to the charts that use Microsoft's lingo, the releases are either defined as "general availability" for on-premises product releases or "service updates" for releases of on-demand solutions.

  • Internet Explorer 10: General availability ranging from June 2012 to early 2013

  • 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 in late February or March; it appears that Microsoft will release a total of five service updates by year's end.

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

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

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

In other product release 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 the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.