Saturday, 03 January 2015 21:56

Joe Belfiore promises news on Office for Windows Phone before 19 February 2015 Featured

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After Microsoft launched Office for iOS and Android, without any update for Windows Phone users who now ‘enjoy’ the worst Microsoft Office experience, there’s finally some news.

Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore has made an announcement about an upcoming announcement on more news regarding an updated Windows Phone version of Microsoft Office.

With Office on Windows Phone now ironically offering the absolute worst Office experience on all platforms, after initially offering the only Office experience on modern mobile devices, people unsurprisingly wondered WTF was up with and at Microsoft.

A report at WindowsCentral has a screenshot of a post Belfiore made on his Weibo account, which is a Chinese version of a Twitter-like service.

Part of the post says: “First… as we end our 2014, I want to acknowledge the comments and letters you have all sent, noting that you’ve been frustrated seeing Microsoft launch new applications like Office on iOS and Android, without accompanying news around what will happen on Windows Phone. I want to assure you that our Office team has not forgotten Windows Phone - we’re just aligning all of our news and announcements to a single event. You’ll hear much more about what we have planned before Chinese New Year.”

Chinese New Year 2015 falls on Thursday, 19 February 2015, with Belfiore’s post aimed at the Chinese market, which while huge, isn’t exactly a massive market for Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform.

However, news is news, no matter where it is posted or who it is aimed at, so if you’ve been wondering when Windows Phone would finally get an updated version of Microsoft Office, we’ll know more before 19 February.

Sadly this doesn’t sound like this will be the date a new version is actually coming, just a date when we’ll know more.

That said, it’s now 2015, so we’ll hopefully hear a lot of news about Microsoft Office in general - when we’ll get Office 2015 for Windows, when we’ll get Office 2015 for Macs, whether Office 365 will turn into Office 366 (just joking on this one) and what Microsoft’s ‘touch based’ interface for Office 2015 on touch capable Windows PCs will look like.

Presumably it will look a lot like Office for iPad, just as the Office for Android does, but that’s not guaranteed.

Indeed, it would be better if Microsoft could announce news about new versions of Office at the same time as its 21 January 2015 launch of a new consumer-focused preview build of Windows 10, but from Belfiore’s post, it doesn’t sound like that is going to happen.

Post Valentine’s day is also the time Apple’s Watch is expected to launch, so Microsoft does risk its Office news being low on the watch list, if you’ll pardon the pun.

So… more Office news is coming, but you’ll just have to wait a bit longer to find out!

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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