Microsoft Office 15 apps to have "touch mode"

Microsoft Office 15 is expected to be released around the same time the commercial version of Windows 8 is launched, which is sometime late in 2012. In January, Microsoft announced it was releasing what it called a "technical preview" of Office 15 to select developers. While those developers are supposed to be using the preview version under NDAs, some details of Office 15, along with some screenshots, have leaked out to the Internet.

ZDNet.com reports that Office 15 will have what's being called a "touch mode" button for its many apps. While the actual button doesn't work in the technical preview, it appears to be put in place to allow Office 15 users to freely switch between a touch screen mode for the apps and going back to a classic keyboard-and-mouse control scheme.

The technical preview of Office 15 looks just like it is supposed to be; a preview with not all of the features or UI elements in place yet. The first public beta release of Office 15 is expected to be offered by Microsoft sometime this summer.

Image via ZDNet

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Seriously, guys, why can't anyone post a screenshot of a FULL-SIZE ribbon?

Is it seriously that bad? I mean, surely Microsoft's beautiful Metro UI MUST blend in with the rest of the ribbon by now...
Or is it cut off by...
dots...
and...
truncated...

A touch mode seems unnecessarily complicated. It is obvious to me that MS are making this up as they go along and Windows 8 will be a mess.

What can you expect when it will be version 1 and dreamed up in a meeting with a whiteboard a few months ago.

Why will Windows 8 be any more successful than the Windows Phone?

Oh my god, I LOVE this. I have been wanting a MORON MODE on Windows since Bob failed and Apple stepped into that paradigm.

jimmyfal said,
Oh my god, I LOVE this. I have been wanting a MORON MODE on Windows since Bob failed and Apple stepped into that paradigm.

Moron mode came out several years ago, but Apple called it the Magical iPhone...

So now you have immersive apps, classic desktop apps and classic desktop apps with an extra touch layer.

I have to ask: Does Windows 8's design revolve around confusing the end-user?

.Neo said,
So now you have immersive apps, classic desktop apps and classic desktop apps with an extra touch layer.

I have to ask: Does Windows 8's design revolve around confusing the end-user?


I really think MS should make their UX decisions based off of what will make my Grandpa happy.

MrHumpty said,

I really think MS should make their UX decisions based off of what will make my Grandpa happy.

Nah, let's just make everything as complex as humanly possible just so the self-proclaimed "power-users" can feel important.

.Neo said,

Nah, let's just make everything as complex as humanly possible just so the self-proclaimed "power-users" can feel important.

Complex? It's just adjusting the interface for something optimized for somebody's fat finger versus a stylus. How is that complex? Seriously, look at that screen shot, how much more watered down could it possibly be? Those "self proclaimed power-users" probably wouldn't have anything to do with either anyways and use the typical keyboard/mouse setup. Sounds like the complaint is either going to be that there's only support for a stylus, or that it's too hard because they're making it simpler for the users who prefer touch.. going to get burnt either way.

Point is you shouldn't have three different interfaces to worry about within one OS. Let alone two entirely different sets of apps. If you want a touch-friendly Office, that's fine, just integrate it into Metro entirely (hopefully that's what Microsoft did).

.Neo said,
Point is you shouldn't have three different interfaces to worry about within one OS. Let alone two entirely different sets of apps. If you want a touch-friendly Office, that's fine, just integrate it into Metro entirely (hopefully that's what Microsoft did).

If they made Office 15 Metro only, they'd be leaving Windows 7 behind. I'm sure that's where they're headed eventually, but right now it's too soon.

Enron said,
If they made Office 15 Metro only, they'd be leaving Windows 7 behind. I'm sure that's where they're headed eventually, but right now it's too soon.

I understand the implications. However, looking at how things are shaping up now Windows 8 is pretty much an OS with personality disorder: It isn't quite the traditional Windows anymore, but it's fully Metro either.

I'm really interested to see how Microsoft will prevent Windows 8 from becoming an incoherent jumble of classic desktop apps, immersive apps and those that are trying to be both.

Really like the interface, looks clean and fresh, and if the interface can go this small, it will be compatible with a lot of screen sizes

techguy77 said,
We need office to do real **** not some Metro looking junk.

Because the color scheme and icons really effect your ability to use the software. Did you see a drop in productivity from Office 2007 to 2010? That switch from blue to grey rocked my world.

MrHumpty said,

Because the color scheme and icons really effect your ability to use the software. Did you see a drop in productivity from Office 2007 to 2010? That switch from blue to grey rocked my world.

Not colors but whole stupid layout

techguy77 said,
We need office to do real **** not some Metro looking junk.

Ok, you DO realize that the entire 'design' of Windows since version 1.0 has used 'Metro' design styles, right? It is the hallmark of what Microsoft UI is built on and refined over the years, right? Metro is a concept of adapting solid typography and graphic design concepts to a computer screen. (Whitespace, wrap-around, contrast, use of fonts, etc.)

So if you have EVER thought ANY version of Word was designed for 'real' work, then you are a fan of Metro already, and just aren't connecting the dots to realize it.

When Word appeared on Macs in 1984/1985, it used a Mac version of the Microsoft UI model, which was based on 'simplistic elegance' aka Metro circa 1984.

So when you look at UI designs, especially in the OS X and Linux world that mimic Microsoft UI styles, they are Metro concepts. Early Metro concepts, but Metro nonetheless.

Ironically, the base ideals of Metro and 'interaction' with the UI is what gave the world concepts that Microsoft brought to GUIs, things like 'select and modify' for text formatting, that EVERY Application and OS use today as a 'normal' and 'standard' feature.

So while you get your trollish Metro bash vented, you might rethink your comments if you are at all serious about understanding what Microsoft is doing, why and where it comes from. Take a Graphic Design 101 course, especially an non-DTP class, and you will find the things they are teaching are the same core principles that Metro and Microsoft's UI work has ALWAYS been based on.

_____________________________
Want other 'worldly' proof?

Go buy a newspaper, open it up. This is Metro, and there is a reason why Newspapers fundamentally look the same as they did 100 years ago and use the same base 'readability' and 'usage' concepts, as they are based on how the human mind follows information and works.

In a Newspaper you won't find 50 gradients and colors that are 'busy' to look at or add '3D effects' that distract the readers from the words. Lines around columns with abstract effects.

There was a time that adding in 'simulated' 3D effects was popular and cool on computers, as it added 'depth' and showcased the power of the graphics of the computer. There was also a time that 'buttons' meant a 3D object that you pushed in the real world like on a 1980s TV show that had high tech computers with lights.

People today no longer associated 'buttons' as being 3D and something you have to physically 'move' to activate, and this metaphor is gone for now. Instead people think of them as 'hotspots' on a flat surface or screen. Even your Microwave has not had 3D pushbuttons for 25 years. Yet you think a computer Application should?

The 'I hate Metro' crap is really old, and ignorant in the true sense of the world. 'ignore information/facts'

techguy77 said,
We need office to do real **** not some Metro looking junk.

And you have evidence that the Metro design impedes productivity?

techguy77 said,
We need office to do real **** not some Metro looking junk.
Good point, it's not like this entire article is about how there is an "option" to switch to touch mode.... It's not always in it...

thenetavenger said,

Ok, you DO realize that the entire 'design' of Windows since version 1.0 has used 'Metro' design styles, right? It is the hallmark of what Microsoft UI is built on and refined over the years, right? Metro is a concept of adapting solid typography and graphic design concepts to a computer screen. (Whitespace, wrap-around, contrast, use of fonts, etc.)

So if you have EVER thought ANY version of Word was designed for 'real' work, then you are a fan of Metro already, and just aren't connecting the dots to realize it.

When Word appeared on Macs in 1984/1985, it used a Mac version of the Microsoft UI model, which was based on 'simplistic elegance' aka Metro circa 1984.

So when you look at UI designs, especially in the OS X and Linux world that mimic Microsoft UI styles, they are Metro concepts. Early Metro concepts, but Metro nonetheless.

Ironically, the base ideals of Metro and 'interaction' with the UI is what gave the world concepts that Microsoft brought to GUIs, things like 'select and modify' for text formatting, that EVERY Application and OS use today as a 'normal' and 'standard' feature.

So while you get your trollish Metro bash vented, you might rethink your comments if you are at all serious about understanding what Microsoft is doing, why and where it comes from. Take a Graphic Design 101 course, especially an non-DTP class, and you will find the things they are teaching are the same core principles that Metro and Microsoft's UI work has ALWAYS been based on.

_____________________________
Want other 'worldly' proof?

Go buy a newspaper, open it up. This is Metro, and there is a reason why Newspapers fundamentally look the same as they did 100 years ago and use the same base 'readability' and 'usage' concepts, as they are based on how the human mind follows information and works.

In a Newspaper you won't find 50 gradients and colors that are 'busy' to look at or add '3D effects' that distract the readers from the words. Lines around columns with abstract effects.

There was a time that adding in 'simulated' 3D effects was popular and cool on computers, as it added 'depth' and showcased the power of the graphics of the computer. There was also a time that 'buttons' meant a 3D object that you pushed in the real world like on a 1980s TV show that had high tech computers with lights.

People today no longer associated 'buttons' as being 3D and something you have to physically 'move' to activate, and this metaphor is gone for now. Instead people think of them as 'hotspots' on a flat surface or screen. Even your Microwave has not had 3D pushbuttons for 25 years. Yet you think a computer Application should?

The 'I hate Metro' crap is really old, and ignorant in the true sense of the world. 'ignore information/facts'

With Windows 8 Microsoft goes against every UI Principle, what are you talking about?

srprimeaux said,

And you have evidence that the Metro design impedes productivity?

I do... and it's his mind. He's so angry with Metro that he can't think with his brain anymore.

thenetavenger said,

Ok, you DO realize that the entire 'design' of Windows since version 1.0 has used 'Metro' design styles, right? It is the hallmark of what Microsoft UI is built on and refined over the years, right? Metro is a concept of adapting solid typography and graphic design concepts to a computer screen. (Whitespace, wrap-around, contrast, use of fonts, etc.)

So if you have EVER thought ANY version of Word was designed for 'real' work, then you are a fan of Metro already, and just aren't connecting the dots to realize it.

When Word appeared on Macs in 1984/1985, it used a Mac version of the Microsoft UI model, which was based on 'simplistic elegance' aka Metro circa 1984.

So when you look at UI designs, especially in the OS X and Linux world that mimic Microsoft UI styles, they are Metro concepts. Early Metro concepts, but Metro nonetheless.

Ironically, the base ideals of Metro and 'interaction' with the UI is what gave the world concepts that Microsoft brought to GUIs, things like 'select and modify' for text formatting, that EVERY Application and OS use today as a 'normal' and 'standard' feature.

So while you get your trollish Metro bash vented, you might rethink your comments if you are at all serious about understanding what Microsoft is doing, why and where it comes from. Take a Graphic Design 101 course, especially an non-DTP class, and you will find the things they are teaching are the same core principles that Metro and Microsoft's UI work has ALWAYS been based on.

_____________________________
Want other 'worldly' proof?

Go buy a newspaper, open it up. This is Metro, and there is a reason why Newspapers fundamentally look the same as they did 100 years ago and use the same base 'readability' and 'usage' concepts, as they are based on how the human mind follows information and works.

In a Newspaper you won't find 50 gradients and colors that are 'busy' to look at or add '3D effects' that distract the readers from the words. Lines around columns with abstract effects.

There was a time that adding in 'simulated' 3D effects was popular and cool on computers, as it added 'depth' and showcased the power of the graphics of the computer. There was also a time that 'buttons' meant a 3D object that you pushed in the real world like on a 1980s TV show that had high tech computers with lights.

People today no longer associated 'buttons' as being 3D and something you have to physically 'move' to activate, and this metaphor is gone for now. Instead people think of them as 'hotspots' on a flat surface or screen. Even your Microwave has not had 3D pushbuttons for 25 years. Yet you think a computer Application should?

The 'I hate Metro' crap is really old, and ignorant in the true sense of the world. 'ignore information/facts'

You still haven't addressed the issue of how primitive it looks, with the Office team's absolute refusal to adopt any subtle shading or other visual cues that can make it easier to use the UI quickly and with considerably less visual strain.

Many people who use a computer for extended periods of time would be extremely annoyed, at the least, to have the glare of a solid white box in their eyes- the screen, in essence, is a light that you stare at. Metro is like putting that rectangular light in the ceiling of your office on max and staring at it while having black blotches of text sparsely placed inside.

Friendly for power users? The Recent tab specifically tells the user, "To browse for a file, start by clicking on Open Other Files."
I find that insulting. If Microsoft wants to give us training wheels like AOL, then they can go ahead.

Just wait until they decide to make voice-interacting computers speak to you constantly about how to use your computer too.

fenderMarky said,

I do... and it's his mind. He's so angry with Metro that he can't think with his brain anymore.

It sucks and Sale numbers will be a proof what i am saying and then i will come back and say how lame people you are.

Is the touch screen mode the Immersive UI version of office?

I think the basic concept in OSX lion is good, that many apps have a windowed and full screen version; in Windows this would make the Immersive UI the full screen version. Unfortunately, how it is now, Immersive UI is completely sandboxed from the desktop and apps are installed differently, creating a barrier for doing this.

brianshapiro said,
Is the touch screen mode the Immersive UI version of office?

I think the basic concept in OSX lion is good, that many apps have a windowed and full screen version; in Windows this would make the Immersive UI the full screen version. Unfortunately, how it is now, Immersive UI is completely sandboxed from the desktop and apps are installed differently, creating a barrier for doing this.

Ok, I agree, but how on earth does your logic reference Lion as the 'example' of this concept?

Word going back to Win95 days had fullscreen and window mode that had a pure and simple interface or the traditional interface.

Why do you think 'Lion' when you think of this concept?

Windows has always had a 'full screen' mode desktop concept (OS X didn't get one until Lion, so this may be the confusion.) There are a great number of Windows applications that switch UI and modes when running windowed and fullscreen. Not necessarily two separate applications, but two Interfaces for the same Application.

There is also Windows 8, which the Metro UI is designed around the notion of two Apps designs, one that functions on the desktop in a 'window' mode and one that functions full screen in the Metro mode. (Which was previewed long before Apple started working on Lion.)

I like the metaphor, but Lion is not what comes to mind when I think about a different UI construct for the same App. Even the way this is implemented on Lion is rather cumbersome in comparison to older Apps from the 90s that come to mind and the way Windows handled them.