Still, Microsoft's practice of issuing service packs for some titles, but ditching them for others, is confusing, Miller acknowledged. "Microsoft needs to clarify things," he said, noting that Directions has fielded questions from corporate clients perplexed about which products receive service packs and which do not.
It's likely that Microsoft will hew to past practice and give customers at least a 30-day warning before shipping Office 2013 SP1. It's done that to give companies time to prepare for the update, or put in place mechanisms to block the update until they can test it on a subset of their systems.
Microsoft will be busy in 2014 launching additional updates for Office, including touch-enabled versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, and probably a new edition for Apple's OS X.
The latter was last refreshed in October 2010; Microsoft typically takes a year to craft a new edition of Office for the Mac after shipping a new one for Windows.
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed. His email address is email@example.com.
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