Microsoft will release a major update to its Office suite along with Windows Blue later this year, reports ZDNet. According to the publication, the update will be dubbed Gemini and will be released in waves over the next two years.
Gemini is said to be bringing updated versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote, expanding on its features to make users more productive in their daily work. ZDNet says the first wave of updates could be full Metro-Style/Windows Store versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. So far, Microsoft has released only OneNote and Lync as Metro-styled Office apps.
The shift to release Gemini by the Office team resembles what the Microsoft staff seems to be doing as a whole. It wants to deliver more frequent releases to its apps and operating systems, rather than big overhauls every couple of years that put it behind the competition. It's an interesting approach, closely modelled on what Apple does for OS X.
Specific features that Gemini will bring are unknown, except that it will rely heavily on Office 365 subscriptions and doing away with reliability on platforms. Could the long-awaited iOS and Android apps be on the way?
In a blog post yesterday, Microsoft confirmed that it is working on Windows Blue internally - the next big update to Windows 8 - but said it won't ship by that name when it finally gets to customers. The Redmond-based company didn't offer any confirmation for the new version of Office, but it sounds very likely.
Microsoft will be holding a Build developer conference on 26-28 June in San Francisco. We expect to hear all of the details regarding Blue and Gemini there. We'll keep you covered.