New versions of Windows and Office in the works
Microsoft fans are abuzz with developments of new versions of Windows and Office currently in development. There are still a lot of unknowns in these early stages, but in case you haven’t been following along, here are the broad strokes:
Windows 8 preview
- Windows 8: The highlight of this new version of Windows is the Metro user interface. Taking a cue from the clarity and readability of transportation signs, Metro is an aesthetic that is modern, clean, fast, and efficient, and it’s the way of the future for all Microsoft products.
- Windows on ARM: Microsoft is taking a plunge into the tablet market with this new operating system. Windows on ARM (or WOA for short) is a sleeker, faster, and more efficient version of Windows that is suitable for tablet hardware and touch interactivity. There is also speculation as to whether Office will come pre-loaded on ARM machines. Whatever they decide, you can bet that the final release will include a Windows app store that provides Office, and all other approved apps, for this device. (Note: ARM refers to the processor that would run this tablet-friendly version of Windows.)
- Office 15: Early screenshots show a very open and clean appearance for the new version of Office, but they don’t give much indication as to how commands will be given. Some speculate that the Ribbon is gone. Whatever the final user interface is, it will probably be one that works well on desktops and touch screens.
When can you plan on seeing these products on shelves? These are still the early stages of development, and Microsoft has ambitious plans for rollout with updates across all Microsoft products including all Office programs, Windows, servers, Office 365, SharePoint, and more. But look for more information as betas are released over the summer, with a possible release date before the end of the year, probably around October.