Office 14 rumors and facts

The dribble of news and rumors about the next version of Office continues.

The dribble of news and rumors about the next version of Office continues.

On the fact side we have the welcome news that Office 14 will come in 32-bit and 64-bit flavors. Since more people have and will have 64-bit desktop computers this is expected. (Office 2003 had a 64-bit version but Office 2007 doesn’t).

It isn’t clear if the 64-bit version will be sold separately, available as a free upgrade (as was possible with Windows XP 32/64 bit) or both versions bundled into a single product. We hope that Office 14 will include 32 and 64 bit applications on the one DVD because people will be migrating to 64-bit hardware during the lifespan of Office 14. More likely Microsoft will see 64-bit versions as a way to extract more money from customers.


Timeline

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Various web sites have published an alleged timeline for Office 14 – Microsoft won’t confirm or deny so there’s no way to know if this is real or guesswork. It looks roughly correct and is subject to change anyway.

According to these plans, Office 14 will have a first major beta in July 2009 and a second beta in November 2009.

Office 14 (which will have a name by then) is due for release in early 2010 – late 2009 at the very earliest.

However some people can’t believe that Microsoft won’t release Windows 7 with a matching Office product range.

Bottom Line: most people will be using Office 2007 for all of this year at least.