Sneak peek at Office touch?

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Does this Microsoft document give a peek at the touch screen version of Office aka Office Gemini?

A document from Microsoft Research has got some people excited because it might reveal how Office software as a touch/Metro/Modern app (aka Office Gemini) will look.

As part of a discussion about ‘Great Inking’ – the future possibilities for virtual ink on documents, there are some enticing screen shots.

Here’s their version of Word. It doesn’t show any tabs, just a basic home/formatting toolbar. image from Sneak peek at Office touch? at

The Excel screen is a little more plausible with some tabs, File, Home, Insert and View. image from Sneak peek at Office touch? at

This PowerPoint image has an unusually large Home button on left. image from Sneak peek at Office touch? at

Microsoft developers are regularly playing around with the interface and designs – the vast majority never see the light of day. Most likely these images are from some of those temporary or test interfaces.

A future Office for Android and Office apps for Windows 8/9 will look much the same as Office 2013 and Office for iPad. There’ll be tabs, ribbons etc – all the familiar, but not always loved, elements. The spacing and buttons will be larger to accommodate fingers rather than a mouse pointer. Office for

The document does have some interesting looks at possible pen interfaces like this toolbar for selecting colors etc. image from Sneak peek at Office touch? at

The site and document are really about setting some parameters for a consistent ‘vision’ of ink based computing across Windows, Office and other programs.

If you’re interested, have a look but keep in mind that we’ve been seeing promises and visions of ink computing for well over a decade with little to show for it.

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