Microsoft Expected To Show Off Office 15 On Monday

steve ballmer microsoft

Photo: Associated Press

Microsoft will soon answer a whole bunch of questions on its next version of Office, known as Office 15.The company is expected to take the wraps off on Monday, according to numerous reports.

Although Office 15 has been in the hands of a select few testers, it hasn’t been in the hands of the public. So, there’s still a lot about it we don’t know yet.

Will it run on Vista or XP?  Probably not, according to reports.

Will Microsoft reveal a version of Office for iPad? Looks like that will happen, though no one knows when Microsoft will be formally announcing that. We previously reported that Office for iPad is expected in November.

We do know that Office 15 will get a Windows 8 Metro-style makeover, be designed for touchscreens and include lots of hooks to Microsoft’s online services, including SkyDrive. SkyDrive is Microsoft’s online file storage service. It includes freebie versions of Office tools Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote.

A lot is riding on the success of Office 15. Office is one of Microsoft’s star bits of software that has helped the Microsoft Business Division bring in about $18 billion in revenue in its first three quarters of fiscal 2012.

So let’s just say that if the new version bombs, that won’t be good for Microsoft.

But the reverse is also true. If they love it particularly on touch devices, it will fuel their desire to move to Windows 8.

Remember, most enterprises buy their software from Microsoft on a three-year enterprise agreement that includes free upgrades to new software. So many of them can continue to buy older versions of Office for years. 

Those agreements usually let them upgrade to the latest software for free, too, although Microsoft usually includes some rules in those contracts that allows them to charge some sort of fees when upgrading. If Office 15 is a hit, enterprises will want to renew those enterprise agreements, even if they aren’t going to opt to roll it out right away.

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