Microsoft is planning to build improved mobile and slate support into its next generation Outlook Web App.
The software giant revealed its plans in a job posting on Saturday. The company is seeking to employ an Outlook software development engineer at its corporate headquarters in Redmond, Washington. “We are now going to take OWA to the next level and build the next generation clients for desktop and the latest mobile and slate devices,” says the job listing. “The next generation client will include world class messaging, contacts, calendaring and social collaboration for both enterprise and cloud, and will use the latest in web technology.”
Microsoft also appears to be readying an improved system for time management in Outlook Web App and Exchange. “We need you to develop new and easier ways for our customers to manage meetings, appointments and tasks,” states the job posting. “At Microsoft we are all heavy users of Exchange’s calendar features so you will have the ability to greatly influence a feature near and dear to us all.”
The idea of an improved meeting system for the next generation of Office has been rumored before. ZDNets’ Mary Jo Foley recently attended a day-long “Future of Productivity” event for press and analysts on January 28. Microsoft Business Division President Kurt DelBene spent a brief period speaking about Offfice 15, the next generation of Microsoft Office. “We don’t think we’ve covered all the bases,” said DelBene.”We’re always looking for what new productivity experiences” customers want.” DelBene said that “new applications will join the Office family as a result.”
Foley speculates that a new “meeting” application may be on the short list for Office 15. DelBene said “We have a major investment around making meetings great.” He noted that Microsoft has done work on every phase of meetings — from Outlook invitations, to notetaking (with OneNote), to broadcasting (with some of the new features in PowerPoint 2010). “I could see those pieced together over time,” DelBene told attendees of the Future of Productivity event.