It’s only April, but the leaks covering Microsoft’s next generation operating system, tentatively called “Windows Next”, have been coming hard and fast. One of the key changes in the new edition looks to be the incorporation of Microsoft’s contemporary “Metro UI”, their design language for mobile devices, onto their desktop OS.
Microsoft is clearly looking to differentiate the next editions of both their Windows and Office software packages, and the stylish Metro UI is far from a bad choice. It’s extremely unlikely that the new designs will be limited to just Outlook, sweeping instead across the rest of the Office software lineup. The new look represents the biggest change in Office’s design philosphy since the introduction of the controversial “Ribbon” interface back in 2007.
It has been reported that Microsoft has pushed out “Milestone 2” of Office 15 to its trusted partners. Milestone 2 is one of three major steps toward code completion before a piece of software even thinks about entering a beta phase. The new version of Office is set to offer completely revamped web access funcitonality as well as entirely new meeting and messaging functionality – it’s clear that Microsoft is working to enhance the software’s collaborative properties.