Microsoft Drops More Hints on Its Office 12 Server Plans

The Redmond software vendor still won't talk turkey about its forthcoming Office 12 servers. But it did offer a bit more guidance about its intended directions. (Microsoft Watch)

LOS ANGELES—While declining to talk packaging specifics, Microsoft executives offered more hints on its Office 12 server plans here at the Microsoft PDC this week.

During his Professional Developers Conference keynote address on Wednesday, Microsoft Corp. Senior Vice President of Office Steven Sinofsky didnt reveal specifics on Microsofts plans to add new servers to the Office 12 family of products, which are due to be shipped in the second half of 2006.

Instead, Sinofsky and other Microsoft Office team executives indirectly addressed the companys Office Server plans.

Microsoft partner sources have said they expected Microsoft to field new Excel Server 12 and InfoPath Server 12 products, among other potential server offerings.

And at the PDC this week, Microsoft officials are demonstrating new Office 12 scenarios, such as "Excel Services" storing and retrieving spreadsheets running on a server.

Microsoft officials are demonstrating a similar scenario on the InfoPath front. Office 12 Users will be able to access and store electronic forms via a SharePoint server on the back end and view them from inside an application or even a Web browser.

During his keynote demonstration on Wednesday, Sinofsky told show attendees that, in terms of the companys Office 12 server investments, "Windows SharePoint Services is the core platform element we build on."

SharePoint Services is Microsofts Web collaboration technology that is a component of Windows.

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