Microsoft Office is getting overhaul, preview could arrive in October

While Microsoft is keeping quiet about the next version of Office, early today we saw new screenshots of how Office 16 looks like in its current state. However, there is a new report coming from Mary Jo Foley from ZDNet that claims more features are coming to the next version of Office, which may or may not be called Office 2015, and a public preview has a potential release date in October.

As I previously shared, the recent information revealed a new black theme will be included, Tell Me, the Clippy-like helper, already in Office Online will also be part of the new version of Office. There is the new feature that enables images to rotate to the correct orientation using camera metadata. And we heard of that Outlook 16 will feature some improvements to play well with devices with limited storage, such as the new low-cost Windows devices, with new syncing feature.

The ZDNet report goes even further claiming more features tailor to business uses will be included in the new version of the suite.

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“The Excel Data Model is going to be silently updated to a version that will be supported fully only in the new Excel versions moving forward. (The Excel Data Model also is known by some as the “Power Pivot model.) Refresh, edit and query of files using this model, won’t be supported without the new Excel version, […].”

The report continues stating that “Microsoft also is enabling panning and zooming on large charts and smart art diagrams in the coming Office 16 release. In Project, Microsoft is enabling users to have multiple Timeline bars and custom date ranges in a single view. And in the new version of Visio, Microsoft is adding information rights management protection for Visio files, […].”

Alongside these changes, Microsoft is including the ability to attach and share recent used local and cloud files on OneDrive for business and consumers. Users will also have the ability to share these documents as an edit or view-only link, instead of a traditional attachment.

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It’s not confirmed, but according to Mary’s information, Microsoft may be planning to release a public preview of Office 16 later this fall, a possible release date could be sometime in October 2014, with a final release in spring of 2015. No surprising, this is the same timeframe when Microsoft is also planning to make available Office “Gemini”, the touch-first version of Office.

Source ZDNet

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