Here’s what I expect (in your average-joe-kind-of-way) should be in Office 14, a.k.a. the next version of Microsoft Office after the 2007 one. They’re just thoughts, not things that I’ve heard, exactly taken from, or anything. Just thoughts. So here’s what I think:
- Web version – It’s very convenient for many people, who might be using a different/borrowed computer. Just sign-in, and you have access to your own Word. There could be a free ad supported web version, with maybe some reduced functionality. A one-time visit version, for people who rarely use it, just pay a quick small fee (like $1 or $2) and use it, without ads. Then there could be a subscription-based one. One for a person who is always-on-the-go, and doesn’t bring his or her own computer along. So there should be 3 ways to use it on the web, all offering a range from free-ad supported, to a subscription service.
- Working with the Web – Yet another thing to do with our beloved Internet. A web version, like I said before, of Microsoft Office would be neat. How about putting PowerPoint presentation right on the web too? If you’re in a hurry, and you want to present something that’s on your computer way back home, just sign-in and your Office files show up. You can also do a PowerPoint presentation right on the web browser, or extend it onto fullscreen. Thumbstacks already does this, and it’s quite handy. Couldn’t Office do something like this? Or reading Word documents directly into your browser? Not just a PDF version, but really reading it in your browser. It would be really cool.
- More Fluent UI – One of my favorite things about Office 2007 is the Fluent/Ribbon UI. It’s neat, organized, things are easy to find, I love it. It just works real well. I would love to see it in more Office apps. Not sure how it would work, but it would be cooler if they do it right. In fact, why can’t the Fluent UI be spread throughout all of Microsoft’s apps? Again, I’m not sure how it could work any more than it does now, but if they do it right, it would be awesome. Especially the next version of Encarta. I’ve drawn sketches of it, and I could really see Encarta getting the UI update. Anyways, improve on the Fluent UI across other apps. Could you also add a search feature into each program? It could be a separate tab on each app., or built-in to the app. at the top, but it would be handy.
- Better package options – I’m not talking about the price here, but what’s bundled together. Like Office Home and Student, Office Enterprise, Office Ultimate, and so-on. There’s like 7 different packages in Office 2007 alone. Microsoft has a tendency to have too many packaging options lately (a.k.a. Vista). It’s kind of annoying having to pick. How about just 3? : Office Basic, Office Enterprise, and Office Ultimate? Better than pushing all 7 options. Office Basic will include just the core apps., like Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Access, Outlook, and OneNote. Office Enterprise would have all the business stuff, all the regular apps., and those servers/other business things. And then Office Ultimate, containing pretty much everything, all in one package. Much better if you ask me.
- Seamless and as perfect as possible – Hopefully Office 14 will be as seamless and easy-to-use as possible. Easy to upgrade, easy to install, things just work with no bugs. All that stuff. Of course, nothing is ever perfect, and things get perfected, but hopefully when it comes out, it’s just foolproof.
Well, that’s what I expect Office 14 to be like. Or should be. There’s other things to be expected too, but at least it should cover my 5 main wishes that Office 14 will have.
You can read the Office 14 FAQ (all the things you need to know about Office 14) from Paul Thurrott right here.