No Metro Design for Office 15 on Windows 8?

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.

  • burnley14
    I'm still rocking Office 2007. I fail to see any reason to upgrade. Are there any new must-have features in newer releases?
  • gavenr
    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.
  • jacobdrj
    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...
  • fb39ca4
    phew some relief from the metro-overload that will come with windows 8
  • scottiemedic
    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!!
  • Nakal
    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.
  • RealBeast
    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." :)
  • skaz
    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.
  • hunshiki
    2010 is just like improved 2007. No real need to pay for an upgrade like that.
  • jgutz2006
    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