Richi Jennings

Microsoft Office 2013 (aka 15) beta release date 'today'

July 16, 2012 6:10 AM EDT

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is expected to launch Office 2013 today (codenamed Office 15 or Next). Steve Ballmer will release an open beta (or public preview) for download, say deeply-throated secret sources. In IT Blogwatch, blogger speculation is apparently a "cottage industry."
Steve Ballmer
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Byron Acohido reports the rumor:

Microsoft unveil software features crafted to jazz up Office 15...industry sources say...[which] is scheduled to be available early next year, bristling with hooks into Windows 8.
When Microsoft CEO...Steve Ballmer takes center stage at a Monday press conference, he likely will tout Office 15's touch capabilities.       M0RE

Gregg Keizer adds color:

CEO Steve Ballmer will host a news conference [today]...when he will unveil...Office 15...[said] anonymous sources familiar with Microsoft's plans.
Microsoft has been especially secretive about Office 2013, and has said virtually nothing about [it, such as] price, on-sale date, upgrades, or the number of editions.
Guessing ship dates is a cottage industry among technology bloggers, reporters and analysts.       M0RE

And Neil McAllister picks the last meaty chunks from the carrion carcass of news:

Microsoft has been calling [it] "Office 15," but come Monday we'll probably know it as Office 2013. ... [And] what to expect of the new release is practically anyone's guess.
It's a safe bet that Redmond will continue to integrate the suite with...its Office 365 subscription offering. ... It's also likely that Microsoft will give the Office UI a makeover to help it fit better with Windows 8's new Metro look and feel.       M0RE

Meanwhile, Microsoft's PJ Hough hints at what's Next:

As we work to bring these new products to you, we do extensive testing...[which] helps us find and fix problems, and feedback from customers helps us fine tune our products to their work styles.
I can't wait to share more about the new Office. ... I think this is the most transformational release I've worked on!       M0RE.

But Brian Proffitt is worried about where it's going:

Microsoft will need to walk a fine line between ginning up...Office and still making it relevant to the one class of user that seems to be overlooked in all the mobile hype: the average desktop user.
Microsoft...can’t risk a $22.2 billion business - the largest moneymaker in the would be one of the biggest mistakes in the history of the company.
Why bother to spend big bucks to upgrade desktop users, after all, if this is all just cool mobile updates?       M0RE

And Finally...
Dpogf sf odf !qAspo