Microsoft's upcoming version of Office will feature a button that activates Touch Mode, according to a new published report.
next version of Office will apparently reconcile the needs of touch-screen and
conventional keyboard users with a special button that activates Touch Mode,
according to Mary-Jo Foley's All
contactone with access to the "Office 15" (that's the code name for
the next version of Office) technical previewoffered up a screen-shot with that
Touch Mode button on prominent display. However, the exact details of that Mode
remain largely unclear.
In a Jan. 31
described Microsoft's quest to make "core Office
applications" more touch-friendly, although its unnamed source suggested
that "plans to build a true Metro style Windows 8 version of Office have
been pushed back" due to time constraints. Windows 8, reportedly due to
arrive sometime in the latter half of 2012, will feature a "start"
screencomplete with touch-friendly tiles linked to applicationsthat conforms
to the "Metro" design aesthetic that increasingly defines the company's
product user interfaces. (The more traditional desktop is accessible with a
single click or tap.)
If that Verge
report is correct, that would
presumably mean "Office 15" appears first as a desktop app, before
appearing as a Metro one at an unannounced later date.
the speculation, Microsoft has in fact let some key facts slip about its plans
for Office, particularly as they relate to Windows on ARM (the architecture
that powers many tablets on the market today, including at least a portion of
the upcoming Windows 8 ones; Microsoft refers to it by the acronym "WOA").
the Windows desktop, WOA includes desktop versions of the new Microsoft Word,
Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote, code-named 'Office 15,'" Steven Sinofsky,
president of Microsoft's Windows and Windows Live division, wrote in a Feb. 9
posting on the corporate Building
blog. "WOA will be a no-compromise product for
people who want to have the full benefits of familiar Office productivity
software and compatibility."
a significant driver for Microsoft, allowing it to fund cloud projects and
other future-focused initiatives that have yet to bear significant monetary
fruit. The company is also pushing Office 365, a cloud-based version of the
software. Although Office continues to hold the lion's share of the
desktop-productivity market, the rise of Google Apps and other cloud-based
platforms have the potential to chip away at that dominance.
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