Office 15 enters technical preview, public beta this summer

For fans of Microsoft’s Office products, the next major update, Office 15, has just entered technical preview; the public beta for this version of Office will land sometime this summer.

The technical preview is being shared with a “select group of customers under non-discourse agreements”. That means that yes, the technical preview is outside the walls of Microsoft, but the NDA should keep all of Office 15’s secrets secured.

This morning, we reached an important development milestone:  the beginning of the "Office 15" Technical Preview Program. Office 15 is the codename for the next generation of the Microsoft Office products and services, and the Technical Preview is the first time we share our work with a select group of customers under non-disclosure agreements. These customers play a key role in our development process by testing early builds and providing feedback, which we incorporate into the final release.

The technical preview is a big step towards getting the product closer to public release. With Office being the corner stone for many businesses, any enhancements to productivity will surely be welcomed by the consumer.

Office 15 will also be a big release, according to the blog post. Microsoft states that “Office 15 is the most ambitious undertaking yet for the Office Division. With Office 15, for the first time ever, we will simultaneously update our cloud services, servers, and mobile and PC clients for Office, Office 365, Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, Project, and Visio.”

While the last major revision brought ribbon back with the 2007 and 2010 products, there is a high probability that Microsoft could blend in some of the Metro UI in to its products.

Microsoft has been baking in Metro to nearly all of its products including the Xbox 360, Windows Phone and of course Windows 8.

While we all wait anxiously for Office 15 details to surface, you should take comfort in knowing that the product is moving along and the beta will be here in the near future.

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dotf said,
I hope they replace the access db engine with sql server express.

That would be neat. I just want to be able to update an inventory database in real time from Windows Phone.

M_Lyons10 said,

Um... Wow?

Is that a real screenshot? LOL

As far as I know, yeah Interface is only supposed to show when you right click, a bit like IE in Windows 8. Not much of a fan here though.

"but the NDA "should" keep all of Office 15's secrets secured."

We will see about that Microsoft loves its leaky pipe advertising....

I'm guessing it'll likely be tied around release around the time of the Windows 8 RC. Also if it's a Metro-Style suite, I'm guessing it'll be given as a code/download on the Windows Store.

Dot Matrix said,

Tom Warren said via Twitter, to "expect some interesting changes to accommodate touch."

Though that screenshot looks easily faked, it's likely what will happen. I'm thinking it'll be like IE10.

Immersive version, and a button to easily switch back to the desktop version.

alexalex said,
Will it be fully Metro/Touch ?

I believe it will have two versions.
1. Office Metro.
2. Office Desktop.

The Metro version will have light editing and tools, and will be for tablets foremost.
And the desktop version will be a full version, and will be for higher level work.

Just like the Windows 8 OS.

Xerax said,
It was Office14 in earlier alpha.

I'm pretty sure Office 2010 was Office 14. They skipped 13 because it is "unlucky"...

They may not have jumped the build number until closer to the preview?

Xerax said,
It was Office14 in earlier alpha.

The builds aren't changed straight away. Windows 8 was still referred to as Windows 7 in many alpha builds.

briangw said,

No, Office 14 is Office 2010.

Oh crap, you're right. My bad, my memory faltered there. Thanks for the quick correction!