Q&A: 'New World of Work' Shapes Next Wave of Microsoft Office Products: "... PressPass: How will 'Office 12' improve collaboration?
Capossela: The opportunities in this area are centered on further integrating all the different modes of communication that information workers use -- from instant messaging to phones to Web portal sites to e-mail and so on -- so that end users can effortlessly share information between these different channels without really having to think about which one they're using. We're also addressing the IT complexity that comes with enabling collaboration over corporate boundaries by making it easier to set up and use shared workspaces in Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server. To complement that work, the team is also looking at how best to incorporate peer-to-peer collaboration capabilities from Groove Networks. Personally, I'm excited about upcoming advances in 'Office 12' that will let me securely connect with a trusted partner outside of my corporate firewall to share documents and track issues at a moment's notice, from anywhere and at any time that we have Internet access.
PressPass: When will customers get their first look at "Office 12"?
Capossela: Microsoft "Office 12" development is well under way, and we expect to deliver the final programs, servers and services in the second half of 2006. This fall, we'll begin a series of extensive beta testing cycles that will give a broad range of audiences a chance to try the new technologies for themselves."