Next Microsoft Office to make PDC cameo

While Windows will be getting top billing at next week's developer conference, the Office 14 productivity suite will have a role, sources say. Just don't expect a copy in the goody bag.

Windows 7 and Windows Cloud may be the stars of Microsoft's Professional Developer Conference, but the next version of Office has also landed a role in the production.

Office 14, as the product is code-named, will be discussed at next week's event, with attendees likely to get a peek at a couple of its features, according to sources. Unlike Windows 7 , though, folks shouldn't expect to leave Los Angeles with a copy of their own.

In particular, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has talked recently about the idea that the next version of Office will be able to run in various modes, including over the Internet.

"We will rewrite Office to work in a browser," he said in an interview with Britain's Computer Weekly.

Microsoft employees also got a peek at Office 14's versatility during the company's recent annual employee meeting.

This job opening for the "Office Web Companions team" offers a bit more on what was shown.

"Featured at the 2008 Company Meeting, the Web Companions organization is at the center of Office's Software plus Services transformation, coordinating this key vision area for Office '14'," Microsoft said in a job listing for a lead software development engineer. "Working together with partners across Office and beyond, we are tasked with delivering best-in-class Office Web Applications that expand the reach of the traditional client apps in a wide variety of innovative ways, delivering server, service, and browser client features."

It's not clear how deep the Office 14 discussion will be at PDC. Only two sessions are currently listed with the Office tag, and neither sounds particularly likely to cover new ground. One is on Office business applications, and the other deals with the software's Open XML file formats.

A Microsoft representative declined to offer details on Office 14 or what the company plans to show at PDC.

 

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