As part of a preview of the forthcoming Windows on ARM (WOA) operating system, Microsoft released a video showing running previews of the next generation of four familiar software applications – Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. This is the first public look at another upcoming Microsoft product: Microsoft Office 15.
It is hard to glean much from the quick peek, and it is likely that the final consumer version will look somewhat different by the time it is released. That said, it seems evident that Office 15 will be a substantial redesign of the suite of productivity tools, borrowing heavily from WOA.
According to Microsoft:
Windows on ARM, or WOA is a new member of the Windows family, much like Windows Server, Windows Embedded, or Windows Phone. As with those products, WOA builds on the foundation of Windows, has a very high degree of commonality and very significant shared code with Windows 8, and will be developed for, sold, and supported as part of the largest computing ecosystem in the world.
Officially, this is about all Microsoft has said about Office 15 to date, but if you are interested in some seriously detailed speculation about what you are seeing in these images, let me recommend the following coverage:
- First Glimpses of Office 15 Are Minus the Ribbon
- Microsoft confirms Windows 8 ARM desktop support, previews Metro-styled Office 15
- Microsoft gives us a look at Office 15 including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote
- Take an early tour of Windows 8′s Office 15
From a practical, Microsoft open licensing perspective, know that as of now there is no timetable for Office 15′s release or any mechanism to preorder it. (It may go into beta testing in the summer of 2012.) That said, if you are worried about upgrading to the current version, Office 2010, and then having to turn around soon and upgrade all over again when Office 15 comes out, know that you can upgrade to Office 2010 now and add on Microsoft Software Assurance. This is protection for buying a software version close to the end of it’s run that will effectively let you upgrade to Office 15 for free when it does come out.
There are some restrictions in going that route, and if it is something you are interested in, I would recommend reaching out to one of PMI’s team members to talk specifics.