Microsoft is currently testing a technical preview of the new version of Office for Windows. Here are a few new options that you can expect as part of the upcoming Office suite with codename Office 16.
While Microsoft hasen't disclosed an official feature overview yet, some details of what appears to be a personal technical preview of the upcoming Office suite have leaked.
This technical preview is not the Metro-style version with touch capabilities of Microsoft Office for Windows, baptized by Microsoft watchers with the name Gemini.
Instead, it is the next version of Office for desktop PCs and devices with Windows.
Tom Warren from The Verge published several screenshots on September 18th, which are believed to come from the technical preview of Office 16.
Alongside new feature additions like Tell Me, Footnotes, and Endnotes, Microsoft is changing the look of Office Web Apps. The interface is now more flattened and there’s additional spacing to make it a little more finger-friendly.
The Office Web Apps changes may hint at the future direction for those particular apps. Microsoft is also making one final change to its Office Web Apps by including them in the navigation bar that switches between Outlook, SkyDrive, Calendar, and People sections.
It makes the apps a lot easier to find from Outlook.com, as they were previously buried away in the company’s SkyDrive cloud storage service.
Tell Me is a tool that is already part of Office Online and Office for iPad. This enables users to ask how they can accomplish specific actions without having to dive in the documentation.
There also will be an automatic image rotation option to help users drop images on the correct location in documents. Next to the theme colours light gray, dark gray and white,
a black theme will become available as well.
In addition to the new options that take advantage of the leaked screenshots, there will be more changes that are particularly attractive to business users.
The Excel Data Model is silently updated to a version which is only fully supported in future versions of Excel.
Certain features in this model cannot be used in earlier versions of Excel, although users are still able to open all earlier spreadsheets.
Microsoft also adds panning and zooming to large graphs and smart art diagrams. In Project, users are allowed to have multiple timelines like a custom date range in a single view.
In the new version of Visio a system for management of information rights for Visio files is coming. This is very convenient for those who use the program for research and patent information.
Microsoft introduces a few changes to the look of Office 16 on smaller devices. The synchronization works finer. Instead of just a month, to download, e-mail users are able to choose between one day, three days, seven days or two weeks with the new Outlook.
Microsoft adds the ability to add or share recently used documents, both locally and in the cloud. The idea behind this is that it is easier for users to work with frequently used files and documents together. Users can share the files as read-only, to edit or as an attachment in an email.
Not all listed features will necessarily be released through Office 16. Currently the main focus of Microsoft are new functionalities in the cloud. That means that the attention is aimed primarily at Office 365.
There are rumors that Microsoft comes up with a public preview of Office 16 later this fall, perhaps in October. Sources say that the final version of the office suite appears in the spring of 2015, whether or not under the name of Office 2015.