Coming Soon: Office 14

In All About Microsoft, Mary Jo Foley reports that Office 14 will be available in the first half of 2009 (Office 14: Think first half of 2009). The news came from Office “14:” An AeroXP Exclusive on the AeroXperience Vista blog.

Despite my grouchy attitude through it all, I rather enjoyed the beta testing experience, trying out new things, and more important, trying out old things to make sure they still work as expected. It was interesting seeing the process, and testing more things with each refresh and beta edition. In some ways the final version feels like a beta. This is partly because Microsoft changed so many things about Office that not everything seems quite finished. I think it also feels this way because I’m not using the new version much yet, so every time I break it open it’s something new.

So who is going to upgrade to Office 2007, and who will keep using their ancient version until Office 2009 comes along?

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21 thoughts on “Coming Soon: Office 14

  1. I recently received Office 2007 Enterprise for install, but was advised by a personal acquaintance who is an MVP, “2007 has many bugs…” and that I should keep my 2003 Pro version installed and have both installations. Is that done with a partition? Hate to sound so ignorant but have never had multiple installs on the same machine before.

  2. My migration path is directed by my clients. As with Stacie’s experience many companies I develop solutions for have only recently upgraded to 2003. I’m not expecting any work requests to filter through for 12 to 18 months.

  3. Doco
    Multiple versions is uncomplicated for Excel, no particioning necessary. Install them in different folders, preferrably chronologically; oldest version first. Choose “keep existing versions” whenever prompted and No to all “overwrite?” questions. Do also all installs Custom and choose “run from my computer” or “unavailable” for all optiona, “install on first use” is at best confusing with multiple versions.

    All my computers have a variety of Excel versions/language versions on them, and the only problems I’ve ever had with that is when editing digitally signed code. Those problems were severe though, so be very careful with signatures and certificates, stick to one version only for signed projects, don’t even have another version running simoultaneously.

    Word is not so uncomplicated, it runs some first time installation procedure on startup if last version used is a different version. And a system can only contain maximum one version of Outlook.
    Best wishes Harald

  4. We still use 2000 at work – although other applications have been upgraded to 2003 (Outlook, Project, Visio). I would like to think that there will be an upgrade to 2007, but I’m not in any rush to do so – the training requirements for the new Ribbon UI and features could be a nightmare!

    Having said that – a lot of people are buying Office 2007:
    More buyers home in on Office 2007

  5. I finished my post with this question:

    “So who is going to upgrade to Office 2007, and who will keep using their ancient version until Office 2009 comes along?”

    Here is the approximate breakdown of Excel version usage among my clients:

    ’97: none (the last project in ’97 was finished 18 months ago)
    2000: one-sixth to one-third
    2002: one-sixth or less, this is the forgotten version
    2003: half to two-thirds, many upgrading in the past year
    2007: one client, this may become the new forgotten version

    Most of my clients are small companies, even consultants such as myself. They tend to upgrade their versions of Office and Windows with they buy new computers, so this may account for the preponderance of 2003 users among my clientele. The few large corporate clients I have are using older versions, mostly 2000. This breakdown of larger users – older versions mirrors what I’ve heard anecdotally from other Excel programmers.

  6. Jon
    I’d guess my client breakdown is
    10% 97
    40% 2000
    10% 2002
    40% 2003

    I intend to avoid 2007 for as long as possible, and I really can’t see any of my clients or potential clients upgrading any time soon. In fact I’ve just warned one client not to upgrade as their key pricing model wont work on 2007.
    As a developer having 2007 on my dev machine isn’t going to fly as it will introduce too many incompatabilities with existing projects.
    So far this year I have had more Open Office projects than 2007, (and more XLM ones!).

  7. Jon,
    I don’t think 2007 will become the forgotten version; even if only because 2007 was the first of its kind.

    I work for a large fortune 50 technology firm and we are moving to Office 2007 at the end of Q4 2007 (all 4000+ HQ employees).

    I’m actually surprised by the Office 2007 book sales. Based on sales (not scientific) I think Office 2007 will be adopted faster than anyone anticipated. My sense is that by 2008, 30%-40% of Office versions in action will be Office 2007.

    Like all authors who gained 60 pounds last year, I don’t relish the idea of updating any material until 2009. So I’m going to predict that Office 14 will come around Q1 2010; even if it’s only wishful thinking.

  8. My company is planning to switch to 2007 this year. 2007 only holds one interest for me: improved Pivot Tables. I am not looking forward to the ribbon design and what it is going to do to all my custom toolbars.

  9. I just put together a proof of concept custom tab for my lone Excel 2007 client. Using a handful of tools, including the MS Custom UI Designer and Ron de Bruin’s examples (not his setup worksheet, though, because I’m not afraid of a little markup), it took about an hour to put a few buttons and a dropdown menu on a custom tab, and link all of these controls to simple VBA procedures. The ribbon has been a pain to learn, and I still don’t get the controls that I want, when I want, but at least customizing it might not be as bad as I’d first imagined.

  10. We’ll hold off on 2007 for a while at my work. We’ll probably start using Outlook before the other programs. My main reason for holding on Excel, Word, etc. is the whole custom toolbar thing – I have quite a few little apps that rely on one master addin which creates the application’s menus and does other stuff. Thanks to the work of the various experts among you, I am now hopeful that I can rewrite it for 2007. Aside from that, though, I also see no compelling reason for us to upgrade at this time, so who knows? (Because we’re a nonprofit, we can get Office quite cheaply through Microsoft’s donations programs, hence our ability to just buy it for Outlook at the start.)

  11. An Aero/transparent UI on Excel so that contents in all worksheets bleed through into each other would be a novel aesthetic experience. Don’t know if it could be claimed to improve or enhance productivity.

    During the last 15 months at work I went from Excel 97 through Excel 2002 and now Excel 2003 because the laptop I had two Decembers ago finally finished it’s leased lifetime. When I received a new laptop as replacement I got the then most up to date image that included Office XP, and last Spring the image was updated to Office 2003. Most of the canned Excel models we use are now run through Terminal Server, and those are still running Office XP (Excel 2002) with no plans to upgrade even to Office 2003 this year or next.

    At home, Excel 2000 is still more than sufficient, even for working on stuff from work. And it runs not too much worse under wine under Linux than it does under Windows XP Home.

    As for upgrading, I’ll wait until the ISO certification process for OOXML is finished either way. If OOXML becomes an ISO standard, that ought to be close to the SP1 release. If it doesn’t, I’ll wait for the SP after MSFT releases build-in ODF support. I’m certainly going to wait for fewer newsgroup postings about very slow file opening.

  12. […] Office 2007 and Excel 2007 I did promise myself I would not use this blog to moan about Office 2007. But Jon Peltier brought it up over on DDOEA and I couldn’t resist. And really my only issue is the ribbon, or rather Microsofts deliberate (and unnecessary) decision not to provide a compatibility mode. In fact technically in using 2003, I am using 2007 in ‘compatibility mode’, according to Jensen Harris. […]

  13. I think using “Office 2007? does not mean much.

    I think every version of MS Office has moved from being a document-related software to an application-related software, where basically documents are only a pretext, a starting point.

    Office 2007, more specifically the Office 2007 platform is not just document-related software, where most think of the usual fat clients, it’s an integrated suite that tries to enable customer cases, such as sharing confidential documents behind a portal.

    So “Office 2007? is actually more about business scenarios, and that includes server CALs such as sharepoint.

    “Office 2009? is the next release in this regard : more integrated scenarios.

    As much as there is the current debate on whether OOXML should become an international standard (of course, it should not since it’s just proprietary binary file formats surrounded by angle brackets), it misses the bigger picture. Which is how Microsoft tries to lock-in entire enterprise departments into using the integrated suites.

    A ton of undocumented protocols are what makes this integrated suite possible. Microsoft has not made public that they would document these anytime soon.

  14. Oh and by the way, as an independent vendor selling an Excel file generation component, I have not heard a single customer request about Excel 2007 files yet (although I support a subset of the specs).

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