In reaching the Technical Preview stage of development — during which a build is fed to third-party OEMs and partners for evaluation purposes — information leaks are imminent. Tom Warren over at The Verge managed to get his hands on screenshots of the Technical Preview build, giving us an early glimpse of what the software giant is planning for what is now its greatest source of operating income.
Thus far, there aren’t any colossal, noteworthy changes. Understandable, considering that we’re still at an early stage of development where UI changes or features are fairly sparse. One noteworthy change to Office 15 is that now, the ribbon is hidden by default. It’s still there, and can be brought back from hiding by clicking on a “pin” icon, but it’s an interesting design choice. Perhaps they did so to provide the user with more screen estate for the document they’re working on; the ribbon is somewhat hefty.
One new Office 15 feature is the ability to broadcast documents online. Expanding on the “Broadcast Slide Show” feature in Powerpoint 2010, this functionality has been brought to the other Office applications. Basically, you broadcast documents by sharing them online through Windows Live.
UI-wise, by far the biggest change is with Outlook. There, a dash of Metro can be found, as there’s a navigation bar at the bottom that allows you to switch between “Mail, Calendar, People, and Tasks”.
Ultimately, we’ll have to wait until the first beta rolls around to see any noteworthy changes. I’m curious to see what Microsoft are doing to “architect” Office for touch on Windows on ARM. To see the full gallery of Office 15 screenshots, head on over to Tom’s post.