Microsoft to Make Big Announcement on Monday
Next week, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) is expected to announce the newest version of its popular Office program.
But business professionals should not expect to get their hands on the new version any time soon. According to USA Today, Office 2013 will not go on sale until early next year.
Few other details have been revealed, but critics are already speculating that this could be a difficult period for the Windows maker.
"Skipping a version or two saves costs," industry analyst Jack Gold told USA Today. "It's critical for Microsoft to show real benefits to upgrading."
Any benefits could be hard to convey to potential customers. The program is still heavily used for constructing the same kinds of business documents, slideshows and spreadsheets that users produced when the original Office was introduced more than a decade ago.
According to USA Today, Office (a key revenue driver for Microsoft) accounted for a $22.2 billion of the company's nearly $70 billion in fiscal 2011 revenue. Office also accounted for $14.1 billion of the company's operating income, the most of any unit within the company.
Office is not currently available for the iPad. But Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdhry told USA Today that it would be wise for the company to bring Office to new platforms. "The more devices Office 15 is available on, the better it is for Microsoft," he said.
Others believe that Office 2013 will remain a Windows 8 exclusive.
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