Office 15, Microsoft upcoming productivity suite, which recently entered in to the Technical Preview and is expected to run on Windows 7, Windows 8, as well as Windows on ARM -- today, has a leak of some screenshots from the Office 15 Technical Preview.
Looking at the leaked screenshots, we now know that in the Office 15, Microsoft has made a different approach to the design aspect of its Ribbon approach, with a minimized-by-default Ribbon UI and navigation controls on the left side of the application.
The upcoming Office 15 productivity suite in Windows 8 will arrive with a full screen "backstage" menu and will feature navigation controls on the left. Users will be able to open or minimize the ribbon interface through a pin icon.
The screens also shows, a series of changes that Microsoft made to the Outlook 15 application, and which will sport Metro-style navigation at the bottom. In Outlook, instead of the traditional "Contacts" we see the new "People" tab.
Office 15 will also have a new feature called "Broadcast Slide Show" that will allow users to share documents online with others via Windows Live. A Present Online feature will be present in Office 15 for that (similar to the Broadcast Slide Show feature included in PowerPoint 2010).
Here are the screenshots:
Office 15 applications were promised with touch-optimizations, to fit the needs of upcoming devices running under the Windows 8 platform. Basically, Microsoft plans to make the Office 15 applications desktop apps more touch-friendly, so that they'll be optimized to work on tablets and PCs running the touch-optimized Windows 8 operating system.
It seems that Microsoft is including a button in each of its Office 15 apps that enables a "touch mode," as the image below shows off the button. Currently this button doesn't really function, according to Mary Jo Foley citing a contact, who requested anonymity.
However, Microsoft's intention is to enable the Office UI to switch to something more touch-friendly when Office 15 apps are used, my contact said. This approach also seemingly would allow users who aren't using Windows 8 on touch-enabled/touch-centric tablets and PCs to continue to navigate in a more natural keyboard/mouse-friendly way by not invoking the touch mode.