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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

January 31, 2012 at 8:48 AM

Microsoft begins Office 15 technical preview

The next version of Office — codenamed Office 15 — is now in technical preview, according to an official blog post from PJ Hough, corporate vice president of development for Microsoft Office division.

Under the technical preview, customers test the early build under a non-disclosure agreement. A public beta version is expected to be released this summer.

Hough says:

At this early point in our development cycle, I’m not able to share too much about Office 15, but I can tell you Office 15 is the most ambitious undertaking yet for the Office Division. With Office 15, for the first time ever, we will simultaneously update our cloud services, servers, and mobile and PC clients for Office, Office 365, Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, Project, and Visio.

In the blog post, Hough did not talk about whether or how Office would be in the Metro style that will be the new user interface for the upcoming Windows 8. But Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer gave a hint last September when he said during the annual Financial Analysts’ Meeting: “We’re thinking hard about what it would mean to do Office Metro-style.”

Speaking of Windows 8, the team behind it has the latest of several blog posts up on the Building Windows 8 blog, talking about its development.

Ilana Smith, a lead program manager on the Engineering System team, wrote about changes to the file management system after reading “approximately 2200 comments” from previous posts.

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