Office is a billion dollar operation for Microsoft and new information has surfaced about the upcoming update to the platform, Office 15. According to The Verge, the new version of Office will allow for third party web extensions known as ‘Agaves’.
The third party extensions will reportedly allow for developers to create, within a defined area, an Office application that will interact with the document and provided outside information, functionality, or utility; the third party extensions will be available via the Office Marketplace. Currently, Microsoft is focusing on three ways to integrate the extensions in to Office applications via Task Pane, Content, or Contextual.
A task pane Agaves will appear side-by-side with a document, content Agaves will allow web pages to become part of a document via embedding, and contextual Agaves will work in tandem with Outlook to allow content to be displayed with mail or calendar items.
The Agaves appear to be a natural extension for the Office platform. From the information, it would seem that the Office team is working to bring more content directly in to the Office suite to minimize the need to launch other applications to complete a task.