Next version of MS Office panders to superstition
The codename for the upcoming release of Office, currently slated for a 2009/2010 release timeframe, is Office 14. Surely some mistake? The previous version, Office 2007, was codenamed Office 12. Nope, Microsoft is superstitious. In December 2006, Eric Vigesaa, Program Manager for Office system client applications, stated during a TechNet radio chat: 13 is unlucky, so we’re calling it Office 14.
So how much exactly is Microsoft committing to spend on planning Office 1314? Around $930 million (£476m) per year in R&D funding, which equates to about 20% more than that spent on Office 12 with its tearable ribbon bars.
Microsoft hopes to focus on everything from the enterprise perspective to the individual viewpoint. The software giant says it is breaking down its 'Investigation Areas' for Office 14 into the following categories:
Enterprise Content Management: Author, manage and organize complex documents and content
Communication and Collaboration: Keep communities, co-workers, partners and customers in sync
Business Process and Business Intelligence: Make the right information available throughout the business process
Individual Impact: Amplify the impact of your people
Office Business Platform and Manageability & Security: make it simple to build client and web-based business applications and make worldwide deployment reliable, secure and easily manageable
Incidentally, the irrational fear of the number 13 probably dates back to ancient Norse mythology. This has a tale about the evil god Loki gate-crashing a supper for twelve good gods, later causing some of them to fight to the death by tricking them into throwing mistletoe at each other. The later observation that there were also thirteen people at the Last Supper reinforced this superstition.