Microsoft is set to start alpha testing the next version of Office later this year.

According to a blog posting by Hayley Rixon, who works on the Microsoft business intelligence team, Microsoft is calling for people to be part of a technology adoption programme (TAP) that will give them an early opportunity to test the monitoring and analytics components of Office PerformancePoint Server.

The TAP for this product will be a part of the TAP for Office 14, the alpha test of which will begin in the "November/December timeframe this year," according to the blog posting. Office PerformancePoint Server is business performance analysis software that will be a part of the Office 14 release.

The deadline for submissions to be a part of the Office PerformancePoint Server TAP is 28 August, according to the post.

With the latest version, Office 2007, Microsoft has begun to expand business versions of Office to include collaboration and business-intelligence capabilities, as well as links to Microsoft's enterprise applications and database. Though Microsoft has divulged few details about Office 14, the company probably will expand these features and links in the next release.


Microsoft did not respond to a request for comment.