Pictures: ‘Microsoft Office 15′ Preview

© Microsoft

During yesterday’s conference call in San Francisco, lead by Steve Ballmer the brand new Suite was unveiled, in which a consumer preview was readily available to download right after.

The big difference between Office 2010 and Office 15 is that it is optimized for touch screen, and therefore optimized for Windows 8. The office suite will also work on tablets and windows phones. Microsoft’s cloud storage, has also been heavily integrated into Office 15, so everything you do is synced to The Cloud, and no matter what desktop, laptop, tablet or phone device you’re using, you can always pick up where you left off. If you’ve done some work in the office, and want to pick it up when you get back home, then it’ll be waiting for you via The Cloud. It’s worth noting that the pictures you see below are from the consumer preview and therefore, things may change before the product goes on general sale to the public, and also new features will be added such as Skype integration.

A full update on what can be found in the new Suite, along with how you can download the software can be found here.

Take a look at Pictures of the suite in action, below:

Installation of Office 15 was very quick and sleek. One of the first things that you’re required to do is connect your Microsoft/Hotmail account with Office 15 to reap the benefits of using The Cloud.

Again, as mentioned, Office 15 is heavily integrated with Microsoft’s version of The Cloud, .

The sign in process to connect your office suite with your account is very easy and quick, and many will be very familiar with the sign in, as it’s virtually identical to the Hotmail sign-in.

A nice new feature to Office 15 is you can select a style to use. As you can see from the drop-down menu, there’s a number to choose from, and whichever you use runs over the bottom and the top of the window to give it character.

Office 15 is very quick to install, which I was very much impressed with. Another thing I liked it that whilst the installation was wrapping things up and doing the final bits of the installation, you could still use your office suite thanks to the Click-To-Run Software.

Moving onto Microsoft Word. One of the big features of the new Word programme is the page you’re given when you load up Microsoft Word. Down the left hand side you can see the recent documents you have had open and you can also select a template to use when writing up your document. The style is also inkeeping with the metro theme that will be used across Windows 8 also. Going back to the “theme” option you can during the installation process, to the top of the window you can see one of those themes in action.

After selecting your template, it comes to writing up your document, and what you can see is very similar to what has been seen in previous versions of .

Another new feature of Office 15 is the “reading” view Microsoft Word has. If you receive a document or you want to read over what you have written, instead of having the small white window running down the middle of the page and the tool bars at the top, you can open the reading view and view the document without any interruptions. Also, one of the other features is that to view another page, you have to click the button to the right or slide the page horizontally. From what is known about Windows 8, it keeps in with the theme as Windows 8 has a theme of horizontal scrolling rather than vertical.

When it comes to saving your document, The Cloud comes to life, as you have the option of saving your document locally on your computer, or, you can save it to The Cloud/ so it’s readily available wherever you are, providing there’s internet access. I think saving to The Cloud will be a popular option among Office 15 users.

One of the other programmes within the suite I’m rather excited about is Outlook. Emails are an integral part of my day-to-day life on imediamonkey, so it was one of the features I was most excited about seeing. The software inkeeps with the metro feel among the whole office suite and it has a sleek new design, which I really like. Users who have used previous versions of Outlook, especially Outlook 2010 will notice that it’s not overly different to what we have seen before, however it has had a rework and is looking very sleek! You can see your inbox synchronizing at the bottom of the window, and a new feature is the bar at the bottom containing the different windows, “Mail”, “Calendar”, “People”, “Tasks”. As previous users will know, these were on a sidebar in previous versions of Outlook, but it seems Windows have gone for a bigger reading experience this time around.

As I’ve mentioned previously, Office 15 is optimized for touch screen, and when you activate the “Touch Mode” you will instantly see that features become more spaced apart, so there’s less room for error of clumsy fingers, we’ve all been there on a tough screen. You will also notice a new bar appears to the right hand of the screen. This allows you to easily organise your inbox by deleting, replying to emails and so on. The normal version used with a mouse and keyboard, those buttons are inside the reading pane and are quite small, however, to optimise a touch users experience, those have been put on the sidebar so they’re easily accessible.

Moving onto Powerpoint. You’ll see when you start up Powerpoint, it has the same house style as Word. It has the metro feel to it, along with your recent documents down the left hand side and the templates to the middle.

As users will be able to see, Powerpoint has the metro feel to it, which runs across the suite and will also be used in Windows 8. The interface isn’t overly different to what we have seen before in previous versions of the suite, but it has a sleek new design that is easy on the eyes.

Powerpoint is also linked to The Cloud. When it comes to saving your presentation, you can save it locally or via .

You’ll find that the majority of programmes that come with Office 15 load up in the same way, with your documents to the right hand side and the templates to the right of that, along with the very metro feel to it.

When you start up One Note for the first time, you’ll see it will automatically connect you to the cloud, so any notices you make will auto-sync to the cloud.

When you start up One Note, it doesn’t load up the same as the other programmes (with the exception of Outlook) it gets straight into the programme, as all your notes are stored to the cloud and not locally, therefore you can’t load documents from your computer, so you don’t see the sort of homepage we’ve seen present across the other programmes. One Note feels the same as we’ve seen it in other versions of Office, it has the sleek, metwork design to it, but it’s also familiar to users.

Another feature to One Note is the Clipping Tool that instantly loads up with it. Again optimized for touch use, it allows you to create a new note, clip a note and so forth very quickly.

Access loads up the similar homepage we’ve seen throughout the office suite.

When it comes to creating and naming your database, it’s clean, sleek, easy on the eyes and most importantly, it doesn’t just cater to the technical minded. It’s laid out in a very simple format that all users will be able to easily use which is one of the big features I’ve noticed across the suite.

When it comes to editing your database, adding in the tables, queries etc.. it’s the same story we’ve seen before. The design resembles Office 2010 but is also refreshed at the same time.

Excel loads up the same homepage screen, with some brand new templates for you to play with. There’s also the “Take a Tour” option which takes you through around 5 screens, showing you some key tips on how to use Excel.

The start up tiles for the programmes are also different to what we have seen before, much smaller and cleaner. There’s not much that appears on them apart from the name of the programme and the loading information to the bottom left. I can’t see these changing after the Preview is over and the suite goes on general sale.


Nick Barnes

Nick is a Business & I.T student from Manchester. He was Managing Editor at imediamonkey® for quite some time, after joining the team in January 2012.

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