Microsoft isn’t just working on a follow-up operating system to Windows 8; according to ZDNet’s Mary Joe Foley, it’s also working on next-gen Office apps that would follow the Windows Blue-like model of frequent updates. However, the company doesn’t refer to it as Office Blue to go along with Windows Blue; instead, it’s internally known as “Gemini.” A follow-up to Office’s latest iteration, Foley’s sources say that the Gemini team has a strategy it means to follow over the course of two years – the first part of which is releasing new Office apps sometime this fall or around Windows Blue’s launch.
Details are scarce, since this is leaked information, but Foley believes the new apps are probably modern UI versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. So far, from among the whole Office suite of apps, only OneNote and Lync have full modern UI versions. It’s also possible that the new Gemini apps will be improved to work better with touchscreen devices than their present iterations. Foley says the second part of the strategy revolves around Office 365, so it most likely has something to do with the ability to get platform-independent Office apps via Microsoft’s subscription service. The Gemini team is also reportedly aiming to release updates and new features more frequently when the apps become available.
We’re hoping to hear more about the next-generation Microsoft Office at BUILD 2013 in June, so stay tuned.