In January, Microsoft kicked off the technical preview availability of the upcoming Office 15 application, allowing only a small number of people to get a taste of the new features and capabilities packed with it.
Office 15 is the next version of Microsoft’s productivity suite, and it should arrive on Windows 8 with enhancements for the use on touch-enabled devices.
We have already encountered a long series of rumors on what the suite might have to offer to users, and now we can get a better glimpse at it.
Paul Thurrott from WinSupersite has managed to grab one copy of the Office 15 Technical Preview release, and published a series of screenshots to detail some of the main features in the new release.
One thing that should be mentioned right from the start is the fact that the application is not yet ready for primetime.
However, Microsoft is expected to bring a series of enhancements to its stability and functionality before the public release is made available in summer.
To install the new Office 15 Technical Preview, one would have to upgrade from an existing copy of Office 2010 Professional Plus, Paul notes.
He also mentions the new Microsoft My Site Documents option that emerges during installation, and which is expected to replace SharePoint Workspace. Moreover, the installer includes Lync, as well (Microsoft’s collaboration and productivity tool for businesses).
Office 15 arrives with a redesigned Word application, one that delivers full-screen use on a Windows 8 tablet PC. It comes with a Metro-style design and offers a split view when loaded, so that users can easily access recent documents.
The app is dominated by the aforementioned Metro-style look and features the usual ribbon, now minimized by default. It also comes with a new tab, Design, in addition to the already available Home, Insert, References, Mailings, Review, and View.
The app also seems to feature a new full-screen mode, which appears when clicking on the little arrow next to the window control buttons. The taskbar remains visible in this mode.
Office 15 also comes with Microsoft ID integration, and packs Flickr, My Office, SkyDrive, Windows Live Hotmail, and Windows Live Messenger connectivity. When saving a file, you are offered options such as SkyDrive, Computer, and Other Web Locations.
You can learn more on what the Office 15 Technical Preview includes, and what the final release of the suite could sport, on this post on WinSupersite. Plenty more screenshots with the application are also available there.