The next iterations of the Windows client and Office productivity suite have been cooking for over a year now. Of course, for the vast majority of this period, the two products have been in planning stage, meaning that no actual coding was done. Still, it is critical to note that Microsoft has started focusing on the evolution of Windows and Office, even before Windows 7 and Office 15 were finalized. Specifically, the Redmond company has been planning the Windows 8
and Office 15 releases.
, the Group Manager for the Microsoft Office Internet Platform & Operations team, offered proof of this in June 2009. At that time, Windows 7 was in Release Candidate (RC) stage, and Office 2010 was approximately over half a year away from the Beta milestone. And yet, the software giant was already looking ahead, and discussing what was next, after Windows 7 and Office 2010, formerly codenamed Office 14.
“More than one hundred senior engineering managers and architects along with a few executives gathered this week to discuss some of the evolving ideas around Office 15 for a one day offsite focused on improving the Office engineering system.
One of the key elements of the meeting was to bring in new thinking from outside of the Office organization. The first guest presenter was Mike Kelly who had been part of the Office organization before joining the Microsoft core engineering strategy team Engineering Excellence. In his presentation he shared some really amazing prototypes of new collaboration and build system tools as well as some industry analysis. The second presenter was Craig Fleischman, also a former Office manager who was now working on Windows. Craig presented some of the plans the Windows team has for Windows 8
,” Johnston indicated at the time.
“Right about now most readers are probably hoping I’ll spill some information about Windows 8 and Office 15 but sorry, I can’t do that. All I can say is that while neither Windows 7 nor Office 14 have shipped, we are hard at work developing plans for the next versions. Craig finally got to a slide about Windows 8 and services
,” he added. (emphasis added)
Speculations reveal that Windows 8 might have already hit the Milestone 1 (M1) stage of the development process. Of course, Microsoft is completely mum on the Windows 8 project, and the company is expected to remain that way until the Beta drops, sometime in mid-2011. If all goes well, Microsoft could release Windows 8
around the summer of 2012.