It's already two years since Microsoft signed off on the current version of Office, which was developed under the codename Office 15. But its successor won't arrive until late 2015, Microsoft says, sparking questions about whether related Mac and Office Touch versions of the suite will now hit first.
News of the timing comes courtesy of Mary Jo Foley, who attended a Julia White session at TechEd Europe in Barcelona today. Microsoft is known to be testing Office 16, and various leaks have emerged in recent weeks. So the late 2015 timing is a bit surprising.
Fortunately, it seems like we won't have to wait another year for major Office software releases, however.
Office for Android tablets—which should closely follow Office for iPad, functionally—could appear at any time. (Mary Jo says her contacts say November is a possibility, and I had heard "by the end of calendar year 2014" previously, so that makes sense.)
The next Office for Mac was originally expected to ship alongside Office 15, but with recent leaked shots of a new version of Outlook for Mac making the rounds recently, I wouldn't be surprised if we see that long-overdue release before then. Mary Jo is saying early 2015 is a possibility, and while that makes sense I've not heard a thing about this release.
And then there's Office Touch for Windows, which is akin to Office for iPad or Office for Android tablets, but with more functionality given the productivity bent of Windows PCs. This release was originally expected in late 2014, at around the same time as Office for Android. But Mary Jo had previously heard that it was delayed so as to release day and date with Windows 10. It's not clear whether that is still the case, but a 2015 is likely regardless. Spring 2015 seems most likely.