First Look at Office 11.0?

Thanks Bink for forwarding this to me.. Product cycles seem to be getting shorter and shorter. Even though Microsoft Office XP became available in stores just a year ago, Microsoft is already starting to provide clues to the next version of Office. (I'll call it Office 11.0 because Microsoft has been consistent with the actual version numbers: Office XP applications are at version 10.0; Office 2000 is 9.0; Outlook 98 is 8.5; and Office 97 is 8.0.)

Earlier this spring, a Macromedia Flash presentation surfaced that reportedly came from a survey conducted on Microsoft's behalf. The presentation showed browser application windows for a product labeled Office .NET and said the product was code-named Office NGO (which possibly stands for Next Generation Office). These windows showed online team workspaces built with Microsoft SharePoint Team Services, inbound and outbound fax capability, scheduling and meeting tools, and an email Inbox for consolidating messages from multiple accounts. The presentation explained that these subscription-based services would work with the Office NGO software installed on the user's computer and that the desktop software might be available on a subscription basis as well as through standard licensing. (To see the presentation screen shots, go here)

My favorite feature is the meeting workspace, which uses one screen to maintain the agenda, documents to be discussed, a list of attendees, and a list of action items. I know of only two similar tools that integrate with Outlook today: M-Path from SMART Technologies (link) and Meeting 2000 from RoweBots (link). "Meetingware" could be a logical area for Microsoft to expand into, especially if the Office team recognizes that this software category's potential goes way beyond what might be possible just in an Exchange environment.

View: Windows & NET Magazine newsletter June 4th edition

News source: With thanks to Bink's Officexp.nu

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