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No Metro Design for Office 15 on Windows 8?

By - Source: The Verge | B 18 comments

Office 15 will be Windows 8 friendly, but its individual apps will not be designed with the Metro sleekness.

On the heels of Microsoft's announcement that the "Office 15" Technical Preview Program had begun, a new report (rumor) has surfaced stemming from "Microsoft insiders" who claim the suite won't be built for the Metro-style interface using the new WinRT programming model. Instead, it will receive interface tweaks to make it more touch friendly within the Windows 8 environment.

Plans to create a true Metro style Windows 8 version of Office 15 have reportedly been pushed back. The reason is that the team would need to completely overhaul the suite to take advantage of WinRT. That means an additional amount of time, thus pushing the Office 15 release back. Instead of a product delay, Microsoft will likely return to the Metro-themed version once the retail product hits the market.

According to the sources, core Office 15 applications will be flatter and feature more white space. They'll also use fewer lines to better focus on content instead of UI real estate. Overall the tweaked Windows 8-friendly appearance will be mere "window dressing" while the Office apps themselves will be traditional Windows apps we've come to know and love underneath.

Insiders also claim that, like the x86-based version, Office 15 for Windows 8 on ARM will contain desktop applications. These apps will reportedly run in a restricted Windows 8 ARM desktop mode specifically designed for power efficiency.

Those disappointed that the next-generation Office platform won't be flavored in Metro spice are still in luck, as Microsoft is reportedly building at least two Metro-style Windows 8 Office apps using WinRT: OneNote and Lync. These will presumably be sold in the upcoming Windows Store, and are less complex than Word and Excel, making them an easy port to Metro and even iOS.

Microsoft is simultaneously updating everything with the release of Office 15 including the company's cloud services, servers, and mobile and PC clients for Office, Office 365, Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, Project, and Visio. Office 15 will likely don an official Microsoft Office 2012 or 2013 title, depending on its actual release.

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Top Comments
  • 14 Hide
    burnley14 , February 1, 2012 4:13 PM
    I'm still rocking Office 2007. I fail to see any reason to upgrade. Are there any new must-have features in newer releases?
  • 10 Hide
    scottiemedic , February 1, 2012 4:57 PM
    Thank god it won't be Metro. I may be the minority, but I really am not a fan of the Metro interface. For touch screens it's probably great, but my desktop and laptop aren't, and it makes Win8 difficult at best to play with, much less Office, where I'm really trying to be productive!!
Other Comments
  • 14 Hide
    burnley14 , February 1, 2012 4:13 PM
    I'm still rocking Office 2007. I fail to see any reason to upgrade. Are there any new must-have features in newer releases?
  • 5 Hide
    gavenr , February 1, 2012 4:14 PM
    i don't really care about metro ... as long as windows 8 is a little bit faster, and friendlier to new amd processors i don't care what else they do.
  • -3 Hide
    jacobdrj , February 1, 2012 4:38 PM
    This is EXTREAMLY unwise on the part of MS... In the past, it hurt when half of the Office suite didn't even get the same makeover as the main components (excel, word and poerpoint, versus access, onenote, and publisher). But to not make the attempt to keep Office as a highly integrated part of the Windows environment will bite them in the butt.

    Their main selling point will be interoperability between their phone products and their tablets and their desktops... If they miss on this key 'killer point' by not streamlining, they will be rejected outright...
  • 6 Hide
    fb39ca4 , February 1, 2012 4:48 PM
    phew some relief from the metro-overload that will come with windows 8
  • 10 Hide
    scottiemedic , February 1, 2012 4:57 PM
    Thank god it won't be Metro. I may be the minority, but I really am not a fan of the Metro interface. For touch screens it's probably great, but my desktop and laptop aren't, and it makes Win8 difficult at best to play with, much less Office, where I'm really trying to be productive!!
  • 1 Hide
    Nakal , February 1, 2012 5:22 PM
    burnley14I'm still rocking Office 2007. I fail to see any reason to upgrade. Are there any new must-have features in newer releases?


    I have personally found that Office 2010 is cleaner, and faster and a bit more streamlined than 2007. Kind of like Vista to Windows 7. Underlying architecture is the same, just that 2010 is built with better materials or some such.

    Of course this is in an enterprise environment, and I did not have to pay for it. For home I just use Google Docs or Open/Libre Office.
  • 1 Hide
    RealBeast , February 1, 2012 5:30 PM
    I like Office 2010, and just hope that docx is it for a while -- don't need any new files types that I have to worry about when sharing documents with less "sophisticated and up to date users." :) 
  • 0 Hide
    skaz , February 1, 2012 6:24 PM
    I really hope they make office more affordable. I don't mind paying for premium software but the price for basic windows office still seems high for personal use. Libre office is a great alternative though for the time being.
  • 0 Hide
    hunshiki , February 1, 2012 6:29 PM
    2010 is just like improved 2007. No real need to pay for an upgrade like that.
  • 0 Hide
    jgutz2006 , February 1, 2012 6:44 PM
    burnley14I'm still rocking Office 2007. I fail to see any reason to upgrade. Are there any new must-have features in newer releases?


    Outlook is typically the single aspect of newer office upgrades that impacts me the most and i do appreciate the little updates they have included each year/upgrade that has come across since Office 2000/XP
  • 0 Hide
    rantoc , February 1, 2012 6:55 PM
    Office is made for real computers, who want to write a book on a tablet in words for instance? Or work on that huge spreadsheet on the tablet? Makes sense. Keep the "easier" software in metro to make pad/phone friendly while the productivity software is made for native windows ui.
  • -2 Hide
    kawininjazx , February 1, 2012 7:26 PM
    LOL I use open office.
  • 0 Hide
    velocityg4 , February 1, 2012 8:00 PM
    burnley14I'm still rocking Office 2007. I fail to see any reason to upgrade. Are there any new must-have features in newer releases?


    For most people Office 4.2 probably had all the must have features. Heck probably even earlier versions of Office. 4.2 is just the earliest I can remember the UI and features. The only reason to get newer versions is for compatibility problems.

    A much smaller group uses Outlook which is actually much more useful now. Although Thunderbird could replace it in many scenarios as most smaller companies could ditch their expensive Exchange servers or hosts for a free or cheap Google Apps accounts; which will handle IMAP, calendar and contacts syncing with the appropriate add-ons.

    What's laughable is that they are putting Onenote and Lync in metro. Come on now how many people actually use anything besides the big four; Excel, Outlook, Powerpoint and Word.

    Frankly I'd rather they streamline Office to make it faster. There is no reason why when typing formulas in Excel or words into Word that there should be any delay on any Pentium with 32MB RAM or greater. Let alone a 3Ghz Core 2 Quad with 8GB RAM and an SSD with just that one program open.

    I remember learning typing on the Apple IIe I could type a letter and everything would appear instantly. That was with a 1mhz 6502 and 64K RAM using a floppy drive. Everything was also instant on a 16mhz 80286 with 640K RAM and a 20MB hard drive.
  • 0 Hide
    back_by_demand , February 1, 2012 8:29 PM
    Unless you use all the collaboration tools, which my business doesn't, there is no real need to upgrade to 2010 from 2007, and unless Office 15 can send a Playboy Bunny under my desk to give me an oil change I won't be using that either
  • 0 Hide
    CaedenV , February 2, 2012 12:56 AM
    burnley14I'm still rocking Office 2007. I fail to see any reason to upgrade. Are there any new must-have features in newer releases?

    The only real changes are to Outlook which is vastly improved but still sucks, and Access which is better all-arround. Other than that; Word still types, Excell still spreads, and PPt still sucks, so all is right with the world :) 

    I thought that Win8 Tablet was going to be metro only, and thus that a delay in officeARM would be a lethal blow to the head for Win8 Tablet. I am very glad to hear that this is not the case. Once you get IE and Office on a tablet then business will buy them like candy, and Mac will go back to being the expensive 10% of the market where they should be :)  All of this mac popularity is seriously hurting their RnD, at least when they were the nitche product they had some amount of quality to their name!
  • 0 Hide
    alikum , February 2, 2012 2:34 AM
    burnley14I'm still rocking Office 2007. I fail to see any reason to upgrade. Are there any new must-have features in newer releases?

    No one is actually asking you to upgrade, only if you want to. Their primary target is still new PCs / laptops being sold everyday. Think of it, would people still want to buy a 2007 when ver 15 comes out?
  • 0 Hide
    mcd023 , October 11, 2012 3:47 AM
    I'm actually running the 2013 preview of Office and like it more than 2010. Nothing too major has come, that I know of, that revolutionizes it or anything, but some things are a bit more convenient and, of course, it looks more Win8-y.

    As far as who uses OneNote? Me. haha. I use it for job notes, programming ideas, studying language, certain content for my app. I find the easy to use styling to be really good and almost prefer it over word. haha. man, I wish I had it 4 years ago when I was in college.
  • 0 Hide
    mcd023 , October 11, 2012 3:49 AM
    jacobdrjThis is EXTREAMLY unwise on the part of MS... In the past, it hurt when half of the Office suite didn't even get the same makeover as the main components (excel, word and poerpoint, versus access, onenote, and publisher). But to not make the attempt to keep Office as a highly integrated part of the Windows environment will bite them in the butt. Their main selling point will be interoperability between their phone products and their tablets and their desktops... If they miss on this key 'killer point' by not streamlining, they will be rejected outright...

    I don't think their intent is to forgo it, but that they don't have the resources to convert it to metro in time, which is why they're doing OneNote and Lync first, along with some other software, and then going back to office.
    At some point, hiring more ppl doesn't make the project go faster. At least, that's what I've heard from ppl smarter than me in the world of programming.