Microsoft planning beta of next-generation Office 15 suite in January

By Tom Warren, on 23rd Nov 11 7:51 pm with 32 Comments

Microsoft is planning the first beta of its Office 15 software in January, WinRumors has learned.

The software giant is currently preparing final milestone builds of Office 15 in preparation for a full beta in late January, according to sources familiar with the company’s plans. Microsoft Office 15, the codename for the next version of Microsoft’s popular productivity suite, is tentatively scheduled for a beta 1 milestone in late January. Microsoft will provide a Technology Preview of the software initially, expected at CES 2012 alongside the Windows 8 beta. Office 15 will be designed with touch at the heart of the applications. Microsoft has redesigned the general look and feel of its popular Outlook email client to make it usable by touch, pen and mouse.

Microsoft is also preparing a tile based “Moorea” application that will work as a landing place for Office users to quickly navigate to their documents and pictures. Microsoft’s Metro style Outlook user interface leaked earlier this year, hinting at the company’s plans towards making Office touch friendly. The screenshots also reveal a more flattened user interface within Outlook. Microsoft’s Outlook UI no longer seems cluttered and provides users with direct access to their mail in a simple and yet familiar way. Microsoft’s Metro design language is an internal code name for a typography-based design languages created and used by the company. Microsoft originally started using Metro in Media Center and showcased a full version in the company’s Zune products. Microsoft’s latest mobile operating system, Windows Phone 7, also features the Metro look and feel throughout. Microsoft has started to use the Metro style UI on more of its web properties to produce a clean, fast and simple look.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer confirmed in September that the company is preparing a Metro style version of Office. You ought to expect that we are rethinking and working hard on what it would mean to do Office Metro style,” said Ballmer, answering a question about Office for Windows 8 Metro interface. Microsoft recently admitted that the company will only support Metro apps in Windows 8 ARM but it’s not clear how Office will stack up in ARM, a typical desktop application that requires mouse and keyboard input in most Office applications.

Office Outlook 15 Metro UI

  • Jonathan

    omshit that looks freaking amazing take that iShit or iMale or whatever else they call their stuff

  • McAkins Online

    There you go! Welcome to Microsoft Office Metro!

    • Guest

      I don’t think this is Metro. The rumor is that the desktop version of Office won’t be Metro per se, though it may have some influences. Instead, MS is supposedly working on a full Metro version of Office specifically designed for tablets in parallel. What feature set the latter will offer is unclear. And obviously a big question is price, since existing tablet apps are generally a fraction of the cost of standard Office.

    • Anonymous

      Well they could also bundle it it with desktop office and make the tablet version free if you buy the desktop … But ut all depends on the kind if features and usability.. If it has the same features as normal office and the touchscreen doesn’t make it any harder to use I don’t see how they can’t charge the full price.

  • Jonathan

    Can’t wait until this goes against iMale.

  • Guest

    Seems too early to me ..

  • Anonymous

    My school just switched over to the new web based exchange mail this week and its damn impressive and has some metro features too, I don’t know are not making hotmail look that cool

  • John M Cary

    I just hope that outlook will finally have a unified inbox.

    • Jeff wilson

      Not sure if that’s something I would want.  If you have like 4 different email addresses tied into one inbox…you have to make sure if you reply you aren’t replying under another email a default or whatever.

    • the-hq

      What do you mean? When I click on the topmost “inbox” all my accounts are displayed in one folder

    • Anonymous

      File/Account settings/Account settings/Highlight one account/Click “Change folder” at the bottom of the screen and choose in which folder the incoming emails will be delivered.

      I have one Exchange, one Gmail and four MSN/Hotmail/Live accounts and all the incoming emails are delivered in the same “inbox” folder.
      Hope this help.  

  • Amaezm

    I prefer digital faux leather…    oh…. wait

  • Rocapadilla

    I am still trying to use to Office 2010!!!

  • George Sabourin

    Yet my school still uses 2007.

    • Henry Edwards

      My Uni uses 2003, 2007 and 2010.

    • Sebastian Gorgon

      My college is up to date ATM, already looking into Windows 8 lol. 

    • Jeff Kibuule

      How do you know they’re already looking into Windows 8?

    • Sebastian Gorgon

      Because i’m doing IT and i talk with those in charge of what’s on the system.

    • Anonymous

      What college? Time to transfer lol

  • Anonymous

    Really hope this aligns with the Beta for Windows 8

  • Juan David Maya

    What about Sharepoint Services v5?

  • Bryan Lopez

    I recently upgraded a friends computer to Windows 7 with Office 2010. His old computer had Windows XP with Outook Express. To say that it was a drama moving the existing mail and address Book to the Outlook 2010 client is a massive undestatement. And the thing is, that when you get onto the internet and search for solutions, it is a common complaint being faced by thousands of people migrating across from Outlook Express to Outlook 2007 or Outlook 2010.

    As much as I like Microsoft products and have been a loyal user since DOS days. The last week or so trying to resolve this issue has really tried my patience. I can see why people – without any loyalty – can have such an affection for Apple software. I am absolutley postive that this sort of thing would never have been able to happen on an Apple product – Steve Jobs would not have allowed it. Now that he is gone lets see how Apple handle things like this.

    But for Microsoft with all the employees that supposedly eat their own ”dog food” before it gets out to the public – why did they let this problem exist without a fix? Its not like Outlook Express was not being used by millions of people! See these are the little things Microsoft has to – firstly – recogonize and then – secondly – fix or more importantly not allow to even come to market as an issue.  

    • Anonymous

      TRUE.. They should get that thing fixed  

    • Jeff Kibuule

      I really doubt any of the Office team uses Outlook Express when they have access to the full version of Outlook. And that’s why Express is rather shitty, they never are forced to use it.

      The good thing is that Outlook Express is dead and Windows Live Mail in Windows 8 isn’t likely to have that “crappy app” vibe that Express has.

    • Anonymous

      OE was a decent in its day. It just got old. Keep in mind it didn’t have a significant update for several years until Vista shipped with Mail and Live Mail version of that was available for XP. Live Mail now (word has it that it will be native again in Win8) is a pretty good free app with less resource demands than Outlook for those of simpler needs.

    • Anonymous

      i think the issue is that outlook express is a free product while outlook is a premium product. its the same as wanting to move mails from live mail to outlook, this is impossible to do.
      I understand the fact that the free products and the premium products are incompatible, but i think its not smart to burn the bridge between the two. what if i use express and want to upgrade to a premium outlook just like your friend??? its a no brainer to keep the bridge between the free outlook express / live mail and the premium microsoft outlook.

    • Anonymous

      “I am absolutley postive that this sort of thing would never have been able to happen on an Apple product – Steve Jobs would not have allowed it.”

      I understand your frustration, Outlook Express was crap. But you also have to consider that it is not the predecessor of Outlook 2007 or 2010, it’s the predecessor of Windows Live Mail.
      And concerning Apple, they have had and still have issues that are just as frustrating to users. For example exchange support in the Mail program was causing us some irritating issues with users with Snow Leopard. Outlook Express to Outlook 2010 is not an upgrade, it’s  using a new program; Outlook 2003 to Outlook 2010 is the upgrade. Express was never part of the Microsoft Office suite.

    • Anonymous

      There is a trick I’ve discovered. Go from Outlook Express to its descendent Live Mail. Then go from that to Outlook. Live Mail is more aimed at the same people who previously used OE and remains better at importing from it.

      Live Mail also does a LOT more than OE did and may be adequate for users who want something with less of a footprint than Outlook.

  • Anonymous

    My big hope for Office 15 is more direct support for e-book creation. On a related note, there needs to be a Save as HTML without the megaton of extraneous garbage that only matters to Office. Far too many documents created today will never be viewed on paper. We need some acknowledgement of this.

  • popular downward

    yuck.  maybe if you need a tablet version, but why pay for something more bloated?

    work bought me a copy of office, but I prefer to use Open Office which works everywhere, actually Google Docs does 99% of what I need (windows ‘live’ is a poor knockoff).

  • Me

    They better have public folders or I’m going nuts.

  • Theloveaccess

    i am waiting windiws beta and i know that this is the best winows of microsoft