The countdown toward the release of Office 12 Beta 1 for Windows PCs is on there made some rumors its way to the web which states, that there will be an Office Mobile 12 update for Windows Mobile devices too.
On Thursday, Microsoft sent confirmation notices to the first group of testers accepted into the Office 12 Beta 1 program. In the note, Microsoft informed the chosen technical testers that they should expect to receive the Beta 1 code, documentation and support some time in the next two to three weeks.
According to "Microsoft Watch", partners close to Microsoft, who requested anonymity, said there is another Office 12 deliverable on deck, as well. Tentatively called "Office 12 for Windows Mobile," the product will consist of viewers for Word, Excel and PowerPoint (along with the typical limited editing capabilities for Word and Excel) - plus a new "OneNote Mobile" version of Microsoft's OneNote note-taking application. The mobile Office 12 suite is being designed to run on smart phones and PDAs, sources said.
Partners said that Microsoft is planning to include rights-management support for the Mobile Office family members, as well as support for XML as the default file format for the mini-suite. (The XML file format support will likely lag the rest of the mobile Office suite features, sources said).
OneNote Mobile is set to include note taking and viewing capabilities. And because it will be phone-based, it will be able to take advantage of built-in camera phones, allowing users to snap photos of whiteboards, documents or other source information, and then annotate and share that information from a smart phone or PDA, sources said.
A Microsoft spokesperson declined to comment on Office 12 for Windows Mobile. He did note that there already are versions of some of the Office point products, such as Outlook, Excel, Word and PowerPoint that run on mobile devices, but said there is not an integrated Office suite at this time for smart phones and PDAs.
Another Microsoft spokesperson said that it is too early for Microsoft to comment on the Office team's final packaging and SKU plans.
Well, that's an interesting rumor and I really wonder how (if this Office Mobile 12 will become really true) such an upgrade would be distributed, if as ROM update (then some of us will wait forever) or by Windows Mobile 5.0's new "Download Agent".
Because of the missing sync-capabilities of Windows Mobile / OneNote, I haven't used OneNote that much but Outlook Notes instead. But a OneNote application for Windows Mobile (which utilize the camera also) would be cool.
Cheers ~ Arne