Revamping Windows to run on tablets isn’t enough for Microsoft to compete with the iPad — it also has to make sure that it’s got lots of apps as well.The most important app? From Microsoft’s perspective, it’s Office — which counts for more than $10 billion in sales every year.
Some leaked screenshots of Office 15 — the codename for the next version — show that Microsoft will make Office friendlier to tablets by making it more like the version of Office found on Windows Phone 7.
A screenshot of Outlook features large words on the bottom of the screen that will let users switch between functions like Mail, Calendar, and Contacts, like so:
Photo: Winreview.ru via WinRumors
These large menu items are part of what Microsoft calls the “Metro” interface, which first appeared in Windows Phone 7.
Company sources say that some of the concepts from Metro are going to appear in Windows 8, which is being designed to run better on tablets.
Apparently, Metro will extend to Office as well.
Microsoft hasn’t said anything public about Office 15. But last week, it passed an internal Microsoft testing point called Milestone 2. Windows 7 passed this same milestone earlier in the month, so that suggests the two products will probably come out around the same time — just like Office 2007 came out around the same time as Windows Vista, the last major update to Windows.