When it comes to releasing new versions of its products, Microsoft has largely stuck to a predictable pattern. Recently, however, it’s become clear that Microsoft has shifted gears. In 2012, we experienced a wave of new releases that left no major product untouched—activity we haven’t seen in almost 3 years. Now it appears that the next 12 months and beyond will see a similar rate of change. Windows Server 2012 R2, SQL Server 2014, Lync 2014, System Center 2012 R2, and Visual Studio 2013 are all expected to be major releases (ie, not free service packs). New Office “Gemini” apps will be available in 2014 in the Windows Store, and Microsoft is hinting at a new Windows desktop OS every year. Read on for 3 benefits you can expect from Microsoft’s need for speed.