Office 2010 new images and more questions

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Leaked Office 2010 & Outlook 2010 images hint at what’s in store and it’s not all good news.

ZDnet is reporting some screen shots from Office 2010 with a new logo and color scheme.

While we wait for test versions of Office 2010 to come out, it’s a passing weekend diversion to make a few deductions based on static images. We’re well aware this doesn’t matter to a lot of people who haven’t moved to Office 2007 let alone interested in a version of Office that won’t be on sale until next year. 

Our January article  has more detailed Office 2010 images than the new ones.

New logo – New Look

Each version of Office has a new ‘look’, partly is distinguish it from earlier versions and partly to make people think they are getting something different when many of the Office features are unchanged from earlier editions of Office.

838 Office 2010 logo - Office 2010 new images and more questions

Office 2010 is described as having a ‘citrus’ look which shows how old fashioned I am – I thought citrus was a word related to fruit (lemon, lime, grapefruit etc) and various dictionaries agree with me.  I suppose it sounds fancier to talk of ‘citrus’ than ‘yellow’ or ‘orange’.

The small gray words below the logo are ‘Placeholder branding’ which means it could change later and maybe we’ll all be buying Office Citrus in 2010.

Another of the images is more interesting for anyone examining the bones and entrails of upcoming Microsoft software. It’s a shot of the ‘Office button’ menu (the top left button in Office 2007 programs) taken from Outlook 2010:

838 Office 2010 screen shot   Technical Preview   small - Office 2010 new images and more questions

Click here to see a full size version.

The Office menu is less cluttered with only a few options on the left – we’re not sure that’s a good idea. In the past Microsoft has tried hiding menu options to give a cleaner and ‘less confusing’ interface only to discover that people can’t find the options they want.

The ‘license for this product’ list on top right is interesting:

  • Access
  • Excel
  • Groove
  • OneNote
  • Outlook
  • PowerPoint
  • Project
  • Publisher
  • Word
  • InfoPath
  • Visio
  • SharepointDesigner
  • OIS
  • InterConnect
  • Word_Consumer
  • Excel_Consumer

Most of the programs are no surprise. If this appears in the final product it will be a step forward – making it clear to customers which parts of Office they have installed and are entitled to use.

InterConnect‘ isn’t new, it’s an Office program for the Japanese market that shows up for all beta users but only appears in Office bundles sold in Japan.

OIS is intriguing but probably nothing too exciting. You might have some suggestions for what OIS stands for – both serious (Office Information Services)and not-so-serious (Office Is S ) we’d love to hear from you.

Consumer Word 2010 and Excel 2010?

However the last two Word_Consumer and Excel_Consumer are both interesting and worrying. They could be references to the online versions of Word and Excel, but if that’s the case then why isn’t there a OneNote_consumer and PowerPoint_consumer too? It would be worrying if Microsoft is going to release a ‘lite’ version of Word and Excel that doesn’t have all the features of ‘full’ Word and Excel. If that happens then there could be all manner of support and compatibility issues when people exchange documents between the two versions. We’ll see.

‘Step up your Office’

This could be a fancy way of pointing to various Office add-ins, just as we have now. But the wording makes us wonder if there’s more going on:

Get more powerful features and applications. Of, if you are running a Trial, you may purchase an Office suite online “.

The term ‘and applications‘ might mean Office users can buy other Office programs online to supplement their existing paid product. Maybe even converting ‘Word Consumer’ into full Word? Or buying Outlook 2010 to supplement an equivalent of the ‘Home and Student’ bundle?

Whatever happens, it is already clear that Microsoft is looking to make more direct online sales and bypass the cost and margins of selling via retailers.

Office Watch isn’t surprised to see Office 2010 move down that path and we won’t be surprised to see the online sales prices remain higher than the same Microsoft Office product bought elsewhere.

As we’ve said before, Outlook 2010 will get the ribbon interface. ZDnet has an image of Outlook 2010 too.

838 Outlook 2010 beta image small - Office 2010 new images and more questions

Click here to see a full size version.

Supposedly this is because of ‘new’ features but really it is because an edict was given to make all Office 2010 use the ribbon interface. This is despite the fact that, using Microsoft’s own reasoning for the ribbon UI, it is not appropriate for non-document applications like Outlook. Corporate consistency wins out over the same company’s logic.

The main look of Outlook 2010 hasn’t changed much except for the ribbon. The folder and other views on the left are unchanged. The 2010 ribbon has the smaller ‘Office’ button on top left.

The ‘Clean Up’ option is more prominent than in the past (it’s under Tools | Mailbox Cleanup in earlier versions of Outlook) which means that Microsoft is continuing its campaign to ‘fix’ Outlook performance problems by getting customers to reduce the size of their PST/OST storage instead of making Outlook cope with the legitimate storage needs of their customers.

The ‘Quick Steps’ section has various options for replying, forwarding etc. ‘Forward: FYI’ is new and could be useful.

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