Microsoft today announced that they have reached the Technical Preview Program milestone for “Office 15” development. Office 15 is the current name of the next generation of Microsoft Office products and services (including server products).
During the Technical Preview Microsoft works with a selection of customers under strict non-disclosure to test their products in real world situations so that the final product releases can be improved.
According to the announcement by PJ Hough, CVP of Development, Microsoft Office Division:
With Office 15, for the first time ever, we will simultaneously update our cloud services, servers, and mobile and PC clients for Office, Office 365, Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, Project, and Visio.
With the Technical Preview program underway Hough lets us know that:
…everyone will have the opportunity to try the Office 15 public beta later this summer.
Assuming Microsoft is able to release a beta of Exchange 15 by August this year, what does that mean for for a possible RTM in 2012?
Brian Winstead put forward his theory in his Windows IT Pro column back in October 2011:
If the Exchange team follows the pattern of previous releases, I’d expect them to release a public beta for Exchange 15 by mid-year 2012, perhaps as early as April or May, and if all goes well, the final version would be out by the end of next year. As for the final name, for the past couple of releases, they’ve looked forward and applied the year after the actual release year. So, Exchange Server 2007 was released at the end of 2006, and Exchange Server 2010 came at the end of 2009. My suspicion is they would avoid the bad luck omen of taking that route if they release in 2012 and might just stick with Exchange Server 2012.
I tend to agree that it is unlikely we’ll see a “2013” naming for the next generation of Office products.
Exchange Server 2010 was released as a public beta in April 2009, and reached RTM slightly less than 6 months later. So a “summer” beta release of “Exchange 15” followed by some hard work by Microsoft could see an “Exchange 2012” RTM perhaps around late November.
Read Microsoft’s “Office 15” announcement here: