Microsoft is on a roll. Just last week at its Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto, the company announced that Windows 8 will reach RTM stage in the first week of August, and will be generally available to consumers in October. And if USA Today’s sources were accurate, the Redmond company would be unveiling the next major update to its Office suite of productivity applications and services come noon of July 16 (3 AM of July 17, Singapore time) at an invitation-only event in San Francisco.
Codenamed ‘Office 15’, the new Office suite (presumably to be called Office 2013) has been in testing by a select group of testers since January. Little is known about Office 15, except that there would be a public beta this summer (which is likely to be announced at this event), and the fact that it’d also be using the Metro design language. What’s also known at this point is that Microsoft is going to bundle a version of the new Office with Windows RT tablets, including its very own Surface RT.
While Windows 8 seems to be Microsoft’s focus at the moment, the importance of Office to the company is undisputed. In the first quarter of 2012, the Business Division (which includes Office) accounted for US$5.81 billion, or 33% of Microsoft’s total revenue for the quarter. In comparison, the Windows and Windows Live Division accounted for US$4.62 billion, or 26.5%.
For those keeping tabs, Microsoft’s current Office suite, Office 2010, was introduced almost exactly three years ago.
Remember to watch this space as we bring you more details of the event this coming Tuesday.