Office 15 Public Beta Arriving This Summer

On Monday Microsoft said that it has kick-started the "Office 15" Technical Preview Program, an invite-only program that allows chosen participants to get a taste of Microsoft’s next-generation office suite before it goes into public beta later this year. Participants will be required to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA).

"These [technical preview] customers play a key role in our development process by testing early builds and providing feedback, which we incorporate into the final release," said PJ Hough, CVP of Development in Microsoft's Office Division. "At this early point in our development cycle, I'm not able to share too much about Office 15, but I can tell you Office 15 is the most ambitious undertaking yet for the Office Division."

Unfortunately for those wanting to get an early taste, the Technical Preview is already stocked full with test subjects. However Hough said that everyone will have the opportunity to try the Office 15 public beta later this summer. He didn't go into details, but promised to provide more info closer towards the beta's launch.

In July 2009, Microsoft began its Technical Preview program for Office 2010, followed with a public beta in mid-November. The final product was then released in April 2010. If Microsoft follows the same schedule, the public beta for Office 15 may actually launch in May or June, followed by a retail release towards the end of the year or early 2013.

With Office 15, Microsoft is updating everything at the same time including the company's cloud services, servers, and mobile and PC clients for Office, Office 365, Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, Project, and Visio. Office 15 is merely a codename for now -- the suite will likely have a Microsoft Office 2012 or 2013 title, depending on its actual release.

  • nikorr
    It's needed : )
  • jryan388
    As much good as Office can be, 90% of the population buys office even though they never use most of the features and openoffice or libreoffice would work just as well for them.
  • SchizoFrog
    I thought I missed something there when I saw Office 15 as I knew 2007 to be version 12 and never bothered to upgrade to 2010 but assumed that was 13 until I checked and realised they skipped 13 due to superstition.

    I'll judge it when it comes out and see which of the new features I am likely to use, if any.
  • trandoanhung1991
    The way I see people use Office, they may as well stick with 2003. All the "advanced" features of Office 2007 and above, such as *gasp* headings and references, are still being done manually.

    One gripe I have with Office though. You can't add in your custom reference style easily. I wish that the new Office would allow you add your own new reference template, and embed it into the file, allowing every computer to be able to display the format easily.
  • phamhlam
    Most people only need the very basic components of Office (Home Edition). There are people like me though who use Excel for VBA, Outlook, Visio, and OneNote a lot that needs an update. I am most excited about updates to both the mobile version of Office and also to Office in Hotmail.
  • esrever
    Its hard to get excited over spreadsheets and presentations.
  • joytech22
    jryan388As much good as Office can be, 90% of the population buys office even though they never use most of the features and openoffice or libreoffice would work just as well for them.
    The only reason I use Microsoft Office is because during my time in college we were taught to use it.
    Almost everything I'm doing throughout my certificates (currently doing my Diploma) is Microsoft-Related.

    While using Microsoft office I noticed a lot of compatibility issues between OpenOffice/LibreOffice.

    Understand I'm not being biased, but Microsoft Office is standard and using OpenOffice/LibreOffice at home and trying to use those files at work/college I noticed a lot of those issues.

    I'm pretty much forced to use Microsoft Office for all of my work now.

    I wish Microsoft would address some of these issues, but I know they won't..
    The idea is to crush competition for profit, not to work alongside with them.
  • danwat1234
    A lot of these comments are kind of like saying that most people should use Fox-it reader 2.2 instead of Adobe Acrobat Reader 10(X) because most people don't need anything more than fox-it. Makes sense.
  • Benihana
    Having just graduated, I ended up un-installing Office completely to make space for more games. However, it was an unnecessary move on my part as Office occupied at most 5 GB out of the many hundreds free that I have. Perhaps it's just me, but just running Office reminds me of the school-old-days. Days I'd rather forget, as perpetual nights were spent beginning to draft all night essays due the following morning. At any rate, I guess I'm pretty lucky that my work does not require the use of document and presentation tools. And if they are required, I just draft away on GoogleDocs and use the office computers to complete them. Meanwhile, my rig at home is free to game knowing it won't be interrupted by silly projects. Ah, to finally be free. :D
  • DSpider
    I just hope they improve the HTML exporting in Word because it's really pathetic in Word 2010 SP1. There's a lot of crap to clean up, even it's saved as 'Filtered HTML'.

    Come on, Microsoft. Put those billions of $$$ to use.