msoffice_logo_2010.jpg Microsoft continues to leak information on what new features will ship with next year's major Office release, the latest being more cloud support and web-type extensions.

All Things Web

Keeping information out of the public domain is really, really, hard for Microsoft, not surprising when it has so many partners and such a vast product range. When the company is not casually name dropping the official titles of its next operating systems, or passing on interesting snippets about SharePoint release dates to partners, it has managed to drop some interesting news about the next version of Office.

One cartoon video, if genuine, highlights the portability of your documents, saying, "where you go, it goes."  This won't come as a surprise to anyone using Office 365, Google Docs or other web-based office clients.

But for the busy desktop-based Office user, perhaps unaware of the arrival of the cloud, the drive toward sharing and collaboration with others, and easy access to documents might come as something new and interesting.

The Office Dress Code

Another element present in the next version of Office is likely to be support for HTML5 and JavaScript code in documents, running under the code name "Agave", these will enable coders to create solutions to work with both data, and the Office interface to build "apps." These could make their way into the Office website for download or purchase, rather like your typical smartphone store.

All things considered, Office 15 (or 2013, depending on how Microsoft goes) is going to packed full of new features that will encourage the traditional migration push. Whether enterprises will want to go for it, with many having upgraded to Office 2010 in the last year or so, remains to be seen.

Certainly, Office's future seems to be tied more into the web and collaboration than it is on the traditional desktop. This summer's public beta should answer any lingering questions about the technology, only to create new issues around adoption, compatibility and its place in a rapidly changing market.