Microsoft may not like that yet another one of
its products leaked before entering the official testing process. But it
would be hard for the company to completely begrudge the positive attention
that a Microsoft Office 15 preview build, leaked [translated
article] by Winreview.ru, is causing.
The sequel to Microsoft
Office (MSO) 2010 ("Office 14"), Office 15 will likely aired
sometime next year -- possibly in unison with the launch of Windows 8.
The new Office continues to build upon the Fluent
User Interface (better known as the "Ribbon") -- a colorful
GUI first introduced with MSO 2007.
The build of MSO 15 carried the build
string 15.0.2703.1000 and was a 32-bit install. It was obviously an
early build -- while all the core components like Outlook, PowerPoint, and Word
were functional, it crashed several times (as would be expected from an early
Overall the reviewer pinpointed a handful of new
features, including new PowerPoint templates, effects, and transitions.
And the GUI overall has moved away from Aero themes and has been tweaked
to bring it in line visually with Metro, the GUI found in Zune, Windows
Phone 7, and Microsoft's new test homepage.
Outlook has been updated with new file sorting
capabilities and new calendar layouts.
The most rough application at present appeared to
be Excel, which Winreview.ru struggled
to even open. The problems appear multifold, including problems with the
built-in templates and with the partially complete .NET Framework 4
integration. Excel was reportedly the only application in the
distribution that didn't immediately run.
The icons for the programs were identical to those
found in Windows 14.
A video of the new software in action has been posted to
YouTube (it's in Russian, but you can at least stare at the pretty screens).
Microsoft Office was first released over twenty
years ago in 1990. It has since become one of the OS maker's biggest
sources of revenue. Today the productivity suite holds a market share of
almost 95 percent, but it still faces
challenges from competitors like the cloud-based Google Docs and
the Java-based Open Office 3. While these competitors typically offer far
less features than Microsoft Office, they have the advantage of being free --
something that students and those on a budget particularly appreciate.