Sneak Peek at Office 2015

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The Verge has been given a look at the next release of Microsoft Office, most likely called Office 2015, and a few of its features.

This was a calculated ‘leak’ by Microsoft of selected images in advance of their big ‘Windows 9’ splash on 30 September.  We’ve seen these selective leaks too many times before and know that there’s plenty more features and leaks to come.

Office 16 preview - Sept 2014 (2)

Clippy?  Don’t be silly.

The much hated ‘Clippy’ is over 15 years old now but is still good for a headline.  Talk of Clippy returning in Office 16 (Office 2015) is plain silly.

Tell me close up

Office Online already has ‘Tell Me’ as the latest attempt to improve the help system in Office.  It’s nothing like Clippy.  You type a question into the box atop the ribbon and it comes back with links to appropriate features.

Image Rotation

In the ‘about time’ category comes supposedly ‘Automatic’ image rotation in Office.  When an image is added to a document, it will be automatically oriented the right way up.  You can rotate the image, as usual, but hopefully it won’t be needed as often.

Watch for Microsoft demonstrations showing this amazing ‘new’ feature where Office automatically detects which way up an image should go, like it’s some type of tech wizardry.

This is a bug fix dressed up as a new feature.  As we mentioned in Office Watch two years ago, Office has been very slow to adopt the JPEG image orientation marker even though Windows itself has done it for a long time.

Outlook using less space

With Outlook appearing on Windows tablets with limited disk space there’s no room for the gigabytes of past email that is usually cached for immediate access.  So Outlook 16 will let Exchange Server users adjust the amount of email stored locally down to as little as a single day.  At the moment one month is the minimum, Outlook 2015 will give options like 14, 7, 3 or 1 day.

The downside of having less cached email is performance.  Any searches of past messages will have to wait for the host server to respond.

Black is the old Black

Microsoft is saying that “A new Black theme was the number one request for Microsoft Office” … really?  Are we really supposed to believe that customers major concern is a little known, let alone, selected, option from Office 2010?

We’ve seen such ‘number one request from customers’ claims from Microsoft before and they are usually self-serving hype, bearing no relation to real customer feedback.  But rarely has the claim been so laughable.

Office 16 preview - Sept 2014 (6)

The Black theme will join current White, Light Gray and Dark Grey themes (Options | General).  Note also that the pointless ‘Office Backgrounds’ on top right of the ribbon are still there.

While there may be some people wanting a darker look for Office, it’s a stretch to believe that it was a major request.  Plenty of commentators are talking about the ‘new’ Black theme but it’s certainly not new.  Office 2010 had a Black theme.  As you can see the ‘new’ Black theme in the next Office is little different from the Office 2010 version …

Office 2010 Black theme


Here’s the full set of Office 16 / Office 2015 courtesy of The Verge.

Office 16 preview - Sept 2014 (4)
Office 16 preview - Sept 2014 (3)
Office 16 preview - Sept 2014 (5)
Office 16 preview - Sept 2014 (7)

Office 16 preview - Sept 2014 (1)

Office 16 preview - Sept 2014 (8)

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