office outlook touch for windows

With the rumored preview of Windows 9 ‘Threshold’ for September, we soon should also get more news about the expected touch-optimized Office for modern UI. This is what we know so far.

At Build 2014 Microsoft has already demoed an early build of the touch-optimized PowerPoint, and Microsoft Office CVP Kirk Koenigsbauer shared some details of what we can expect. Mary Jo Foley from ZDNet shared several pieces of information over the last year. And then we had one first big leak of an internal Microsoft presentation which included plenty of screen-shots of an early build of the touch enabled Office.

office outlook touch for windows

Early build of the touch enabled Outlook for Windows
(see presentation below for better quality)

This is what we know so far about the touch/immersive/Modern UI Office for Windows:

  • The Microsoft codename for the immersive Office is said to be Gemini.
  • The expected release-date is spring 2015, along with Windows 9 / ‘Treshold’
  • The existing OneNote-App might get updated.
  • For higher performance, Microsoft Office apps for Modern UI  are built on DirectX.
  • Microsoft’s touch-enabled Office will use the ribbon interface, and according to Microsoft there will be no learning curve when moving from the traditional desktop to the modern-style apps.
  • The ‘Metro’-version of Office Touch will offer a “great, touch-first experience” as Koenigsbauer called it with, optimized touch input and touch-navigation.
  • The leaked screenshots of an early build suggest stylus-support for note-taking, marking, and selecting. In PowerPoint, Stylus-input might be recorded and played-back as an animation.
  • Based on a ink-concept of Microsoft Research, the touch-enabled Office might support bi-manual input combing stylus and touch-gestures.

office excel touch for windows

Early build of the touch enabled Excel for Windows
(see presentation below for better quality)

Paul Thurrott, who has spoken with Microsoft’s Michael Atalla about the specifics of Office for iPad believes that the touch-optimized, immersive versions of Word, Excel, Powerpoint etc. will be much more powerful than Office for iPad. Simple missing features like mouse- and trackpad-support and printing-support give only a hint on what is missing on the recently released Office for iPad.

Here the presentation which was leaked in May 2014, showing screenshots of touch-enabled versions of Outlook (slides 25;67-75;143), OneNote (27;147-151), Word (31-39;62-65;), Excel (40-45;117-121) and PowerPoint (47-60;152-158):