Microsoft has today signalled that its next Office suite is very close to being ready for a public beta debut, launching a new blog called Office Next that will cover everything related to future editions of the popular Office suite.
The new blog, dubbed Office Next, is available from today, and comes as an addition to an existing Office blog that covered using previous versions of Office and announcements about updates etc. In order to aggregate all the new Office blogs, Microsoft has now launched a new Office news portal - grouping news from Office application specific blogs as well as Office Next and an Office News blog.
It appears Microsoft will be using Office Next to publicly disclose the thinking process behind the new Office suite, while also disclosing in-depth reviews of new features and changes made to the suite, similar to what the company did with its Building Windows 8 blog. The Windows 8 blog has been a huge success for the company, allowing it a platform to detail the reasons behind some controversial design decisions including the removal of the start button.
"I'm really excited to kick off this conversation and connect you with the engineers who are building future releases of Office—here, they'll discuss the improvements we make, the designs we choose and the data and feedback that inform our decisions," PJ Hough, Corporate Vice President of Program Management at Microsoft's Office Division posted today.
An in a move set to excite thousands of enthusiasts, Hough also shared some early responses from users of the technical preview of the next version of Office which has been in the hands of private testers since January.
"You guys have made some amazing, amazing changes in this round of Office," one tester, mother and PTA board member, Susan Driever, is quoted as saying.
Timing of the launch couldn't be any better, with rumors circling that Microsoft will publicly demonstrate and even release a beta of the next version of Office on Monday.
Source: Office Next blog