It's not all Blue for Microsoft as ‘Gemini' is the new Office cadence


With all of the excitement around Blue, one major product that got left off the chopping block for Microsoft was Office. While Office may not be a part of Blue, it does have its own codename of ‘Gemini’ that moves the platform to an annual release cycle.

According to Mary Jo Foley, who has a solid track record on this type of info, Office will be getting series of updates over the next two years with the first update arriving as early as this fall. MJF speculates that this could be the metro-style visual overhaul that many were expecting with Office 2013 was announced but never materialized.

The update will hit many of Microsoft’s major Office applications including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. These are the applications that are expected to be updated this fall in the first update.

Gemini is more than an update to Office, it is forcing the development cadence to change for the development team. Seeing that Microsoft is moving to more rapid releases rather than multi-year development cycles, Gemini is the new heart-beat for the team.

If you haven’t noticed by now, Microsoft is moving to annual updates for many of its major products including Windows, Windows Phone and now Office. This rapid release cycle is surely changing the flow of how Microsoft traditionally worked but should help keep the company agile in terms of marketplace developments moving forward.

Source: Mary Jo Foley

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Exactly, Office 2013 is plenty Metro enough, too much metro in fact. I hope Microsoft doesn't go full retard.

Solely for a home user, sure.

For any half-serious business - no chance in hell. Office programs which actually do not have any layout problems or crashes, Outlook, native Sharepoint, in-house crap made specially for all this, SkyDrive and now 365... and the support hotline which at least pretends to want to solve my problems. And Ribbon, lest we forget that. Touch version kinda sucks, we'll see how it goes. Also, purely out of principle, I'm not a freetard - I gladly pay for things I do use as a recognition of some hard work people have put into all that, I'm not a damned Karl Marx here.

Besides, not for me to decide - the one true Office is too well rooted. Restructuring the whole system, re-training the whole "cast", looking for support which is nowhere to be found and the overall trouble - that's too big of an undertaking and risk and would come from the wrong budget.

Interesting. I thought everything was going to be Blue. LOL Nice to see that the updates are going to be continuing through their other product lines though.

icwhatudidthere said,
If you're trying to move people to annual subscriptions and software rental you sure as hell better be providing annual updates.

Exactly. Not a full suite each year but people with a subscription will get the updates, like every fall for three years, people who buy the retail edition will get them all together when the new version is released.

I'd like to see parallel licensing models - full licenses and subscription services. The former benefits people like those who are still using OfficeXP. The latter works out to be equivalent or cheaper for people that always upgrade to the latest edition on or near release.