Redmond-based software giant Microsoft is reportedly gearing up for the unveiling of the next major flavor of its Office suite as soon as Monday, July 16th.
On that day, the company should make official the beta version
of the productivity suite, as the final product is expected to arrive only next year.
Microsoft has previously announced plans to make the beta version of Office 15 – which will be called Office 2013 – available for the public sometime this summer, but it did not offer a specific release date for it.
However, a recent article on USA Today
cites industry sources stating that the new software will make an official appearance on Monday.
The new product promises a host of new features, many of which are meant for use on touch-enabled devices.
Thus, the new app flavor will go hand in hand with the upcoming Windows 8 platform, which will also pack a great deal of enhancements for touchscreens.
Microsoft has yet to provide specific info on the upcoming suite
, which is known to be included by default in Windows RT (the Windows 8 flavor running on ARM-based computers), and which should be bundled with Windows 8 as well on other devices.
Early reports on the application suggested that most of the changes it will bring along are affecting its appearance, and that there is only a smaller amount of modifications related to features and performance.
On top of that, the aforementioned article on USA Today suggests that the new version of the suite might be released only with support for Windows 7 and Windows 8, and that older OS variants will be pushed aside from it.
One thing that Microsoft needs to make sure, though, is that the app is successful, and that it is capable of helping it significantly increase the number of Office users (which surpassed one billion recently
, the company announced).
Additionally, it also needs to prove that its product is better than the competition, especially in the enterprise level, where Google is trying to push its Google Docs web application suite.