Microsoft Office 2007 is out the door now, so everyone is starting to wonder “What’s next?” A long time ago, Office was given version numbers, like Word 6.0. With Windows 95, that changed to a year, yield Office 95, Office 97, and Office 2000. Then, with Windows XP, they gave Office a matching moniker, so we had Office XP. Since then, it’s been back to years with Office 2003 and Office 2007. However, through all of this, the version number system has still been maintained. So Office 2007 is actually Office version 12. It was actually referred to as Office 12 during the beta period.

So the next version, then, would be Office 13. But that’s kind of unlucky, so during a recent TechNet radio chat, Eric Vigesaa, Program Manager for Office system client applications, stated “13 is unlucky, so we’re calling it Office 14.”Itlooks like we can expect Office 14 in about 2 years, during the first half of 2009. That very well could change, but that’s the current target.

Microsoft is serious about continuing to invest in the R&D for the Office suite, to the tune of $930 million PER YEAR (about 20% more than the investment in Office 2007). That’s a lot of research and development!!