Microsoft Office execs have said for months that the company wants to forge a more open relationship with customers. To build on that goal, Microsoft launched the Office 365 for business public road map on Wednesday. The website shows the status of upcoming Office 365 features. Microsoft also announced an opt-in program called First Release that gives customers early access to new features.
This year, Office GM Julia White told Information Week that, because Office 365 is a cloud-based platform, Microsoft can not only introduce new features more quickly, but also offer earlier previews to the public. In a blog post announcing First Release and the new road map, Office 365 group product manager Jake Korzybski reiterated this theme.
"Just as we transformed our development process, we need to transform our communication processes regarding changes and future updates to the service," he wrote.
Both the road map and First Release are targeted at business and institutional customers, not consumers. Consequently, versions such as Office 365 Personal and Office 365 Home are not included...