The 2013 Microsoft Product Roadmap
Redmond Channel Partner magazine updates its comprehensive and authoritative annual roadmap of upcoming products from Microsoft over the coming year. Although 2012 was one of the biggest release years in a long time, Microsoft still has a lot of significant updates for the year ahead, including the rumored Windows “Blue,” the “Apollo Plus” update for Windows Phone 8 and the complete Office 2013 suite.
By Gladys Rama
June 13, 2013
RECENTLY UPDATED: Windows Embedded (6/13), Windows 8.1 (6/6), Exchange 2013 (6/4), BizTalk Server 2013 (6/3), Visual Studio (6/3)
Microsoft has a tough act to follow. The year 2012 was truly a banner one for Redmond, with some of the biggest product releases in the company’s history being launched in quick succession. The Windows OS had its most significant revamp in Windows 8, taking the OS firmly into the tablet arena for the first time. The Microsoft smartphone platform got fresh legs with the launch of Windows Phone 8, which now shares the same guts as the new desktop OS. At the same time, next-generation Dynamics products and SQL Server 2012 hit their general availability milestones during the year, and the releases of Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012 set the stage for Redmond’s new “cloud OS” era.
By comparison, 2013 promises to be a lower-profile year in terms of Microsoft product releases, but that doesn’t mean it’s negligible. For one thing, the long-awaited Office 2013 suite — and the accompanying online components — are hitting general availability in the first quarter. For another, glimpses of the next major Windows update after the release of Windows 8 are likely to appear throughout the year.
In broader strokes, 2013 is expected to mark the beginning of a fundamental shift for Microsoft from being primarily a software company to being a “devices and services company,” as CEO Steve Ballmer described it. Ballmer’s assessment is also reflected in a recent report from consultancy Directions on Microsoft, which identifies tablets and cloud computing as leading priorities for the company in 2013.