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A Look at Microsoft Office 15 Technical Preview Through Screenshots

Office 15 LogoOffice 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 Technical Preview Screenshot 1

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.

Office 15 with Touch Button

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.

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