A first look at Microsoft Office 15 features

Microsoft is set to release Windows 8 later this year, as well as the Microsoft Office 15 beta. But how will users cope with learning new Office 15 features?

It's time for yet another version of Microsoft Office -- Microsoft Office 15. I know what you're thinking: We don't even use half the features available in Office 2010! But you should feel better about the Office upgrade after we explore some Office 15 features.

Office 15 features will reportedly include support for Cascading Style Sheets, HTML, JavaScript and REST for third-party Web extensions called Agaves. Say goodbye to Visual Basic and our traditional approach to Office add-ons.

There's also a touch interface for tablets in Microsoft Office 15. Many are still speculating (hoping, really) that Microsoft will release a version of Office 15 for the iPad, but only time will tell.

More on Microsoft Office:

Microsoft Office 15 features, licensing details emerge

Office 2010 upgrade guide: Who's ready for a Microsoft Office upgrade?

Top features worth considering in Microsoft Office 2010

Top reasons your business shouldn't go to Office 2010 -- yet

One of the bigger changes in Microsoft Office 15 is cloud integration. As seen in this leaked video, it's supposedly going to ensure that your work is "there when you need it." Paul Thurott's review contains numerous screenshots confirming such Office 15 features.

The thing that concerns me about Microsoft Office 15 is the use of Windows 8's Metro interface. I've been test-driving the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, and I'm not a fan of the "less is more" approach. I like a clean interface, but I also want quick access to software functionality when I need it.

According to a leaked Microsoft product roadmap, the Microsoft Office 15 public beta is due out this summer, but it could be 2013 before we see the final product. That'll be here before we know it, so you need to start thinking about how you're going to integrate Office 15 into your enterprise. Some key factors to consider are:

  • Will Microsoft Office 15 coincide with your Windows 8 plans? Perhaps that'll time out with some long-needed computer upgrades.
  • Will you have enough internal resources to plan for and deploy Microsoft Office 15 and troubleshoot problems that arise? How will your users be trained on any interface changes?
  • How will integration with cloud computing affect your information security program? Do you currently have policies and technologies in place to ensure that sensitive business documents are properly handled in the cloud?

I suspect Microsoft Office 15 will be named "Office 2012" or "Office 2013" upon final release. Looking at the big picture, that's not what matters. What does matter is the certainty that the next version of Office will be creeping into enterprises slowly but surely. The real bummer is that I feel like I'm just now learning my way around Office 2010, and I'm sure I'm not alone.

When I just want to knock out a document, I often long for the simplicity of tools such as Lotus Ami Pro and the DOS-based version of WordPerfect. I knew those programs like the back of my hand. I've heard that story from countless others, but I suppose progress is inevitable.

Learning my way around yet more versions of Word, PowerPoint, etc. doesn't seem like a lot of fun. But -- as with most software updates from Microsoft -- it's just a matter of time before we have to learn them. Such is life in IT. Given all the writing I do, if Microsoft Office 15 features somehow help my productivity, I'll be on board.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Kevin Beaver
is an information security consultant, expert witness, author and professional speaker at Atlanta-based Principle Logic LLC. With over 23 years of experience in the industry, he specializes in performing independent security assessments revolving around minimizing information risks. Beaver has authored/co-authored 10 books on information security, including The Practical Guide to HIPAA Privacy and Security Compliance and Hacking For Dummies. In addition, he's the creator of the Security On Wheels information security audio books and blog, providing security learning for IT professionals on the go.

This was last published in May 2012

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Are you looking forward to Office 15? Why or why not?
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Yes, because of the touch interface and better integration with Windows 8.
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I'm interested in the metro ui and touch features
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Still using 2003
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looking forward to how it integrates with Windows 8
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Enjoy the new features and enjoy learning about what it can do. Makes life difficult at time but once the bumps in the road are cleared up it’s a nice change
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Most of our users still use Office 2003/2007; very few opted to upgrade to 2010. Since Office 2012/2013 will be radically different, I doubt most of our older workforce will want to relearn the applications they’re comfortable with.
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I am always eager to see what Microsoft is considering for "the future"
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Office releases always seem to have some new feature that becomes indispensible before you know it. That said, I am not looking forward to another steep learning curve for the end users I support.
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Not looking forward to using it myself, but as an IT company we stand to make some money out of selling a new package, giving support and training.
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Yes, its good to see new things and new features
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No - too much change, too fast.
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No, do not need more functionality and complexity. Simple is better and we have all the features already needed in Office.
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I like new toys. But I am not looking forward to recertifying.
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Not needed Office 2010 is more than capable. Simply prep it for a tablet and it will sell like crazy.
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Just getting used to Office 2010 – with lots of gripes there, too
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My company doesn't have complex office suite needs. We are moving to the cloud for all applications and back to a terminal to server in the cloud format. Microsoft's millions of features doesn't interest us. There are many substitutes for Office today, even cloud based. We would like to get rid of Microsoft cmpletely. We are about half way there. Plus we are philosophically at war with Microsoft's Nasty Broadcasting Company--MSNBC. We encourage everyone to boycott Microsoft for their outrageous tv channel.
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I am excited about SharePoint 15 and the new Metro UI and how it Looks like.
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I would like to see the features with the tablet and cloud storage
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Our company has not even migrated off of Windows XP due to internal applications let alone all of the applications that are dependent on the Office Suite
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New and Improved?
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I like learning new software, it is usually better then previous versions.
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Because SharePoint is a great platform
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Still converting to Office 2010 and am not using all the new features yet. No budget to continue to upgrade to keep the Microsoft Accountants happy
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Its just another ruse by Microsoft to cause compatibility issues that are solved by buying stuff we don't need from Gates & Co
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Have experienced other version and eagerly looking for this new one
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i want to find new futures and options for more functions.. to get more easy office owrk
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still using office 97 in places
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Office 2010 looks a bit stale now!
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I'm an Access developer, and I definitely want to see what's coming in terms of future app development. "say goodbye to Visual Basic"? really? for Access work they'd damned well better not do that - nothing I've seen to date comes anywhere close to the richness of VBA for app development and integration - and the macros and other things mentioned so far are woefully short of that mark, technically.
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I just getting used to office 10 and now you have a 15?
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sounds like another good upgrade to go with
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I'm always looking for new advancements. The fact that my documents will follow me wherever I go tells me that like Windows 8 consumer. No matter what computer I log into my profile will follow me as well.
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Cloud is not the way to go, not for all users. Give us a choice don't force us to use features.
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This continued push for more BS features and cloud interaction is not beneficial and continues to increase bloat plus slow down the actual program. Acuallty being able to create a document is what it should be about.
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It is OK for small slight improvements, but when they make big changes e.g. the "ribbon" our end users, specially home-office users find it frustrating and more time consuming. The HELP feature itself is also not always user friendly. I hope they don't mess around with the "ribbon" again!!
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Not ready for a new office yet.
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I hope it comes with a Word 2003 emulator
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The MSOffice packages are moving so fast into "yet another version" that's it's a waste of time & money to even TRY to keep up (past basic letters, spreadsheets, and presentations). Also, shifting everything towards an off-site, non-company operated server farm isn't what we want to even THINK of doing.
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For the past several releases every new release of Office requires more clicks to do the same task and is more difficult to learn making my cost of training skyrocket and productivity go down. What is needed is less "show" and more "productivity". What we don't need is more consumer features that make data security difficult or impossible.
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50% of our desk tops are still using 2003; the other 50% are evenly split between 2007 & 2010. Last thing we want to consider is 2015 -- especially with an interface (Metro) I find bothersome. Don't care for it on the Win8 I'm using -- won't care for it on a new Office version.
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Well i like change but other do not. so as to the older generation please do a little to accept change and adjust to new technology. its here to stay so adjust. ready for new feature.
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just moved to office 2010
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I rebelled when office 2010 came out. I don't have the time to keep learning new ways to create a document or spreadsheet.
I am now using Libre office and will never go back to using MS office.
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If prepared well with App Virtualization, like ThinApp or symantec SVS, there are no matter, you can deploy without head haches. But with users, you cannot only deploy, they must employ... And they have the last word: please...
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Geez, Slow DOWN! We still have not rolled out 2010 yet because of vendors.
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No reason to look forward to it. It will probably still have the annoying ribbon
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toooooo much change all the time
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sounds like a great program for me to use
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I personally love the changes made in Windows 8, and am looking forward to seeing exactly how well Office 15 and Windows 8 integrate. The metro interface took some getting used to it, but moving back to Windows 7 now feels like a huge step backwards.
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Office is a productivity suite and sometimes I just want to be productive instead of retraining just to be able to do what I've always done. I like the fact that Microsoft wants to add features and functionality but ultimately productivity is the goal.
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New is a good thing?
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hope some bugs are resolved and that microsoft not again releases at beta for full price .. very hard to word with bugs as an administrator
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We've had enough issues integrating 2010 into our enterprise applicaitons. Now this article tells me the api and visual basic code is going away.
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As a developer, it just means they're doing the same thing only now in a different way. I have yet to see what the real advantage is in doing that.
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MS sux!
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Working in the IT field as a software support specialist and trainer it is always exciting to see new products emerge.
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just learning 2010!!!!!
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forced utlization is never good
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Metro, Ribbon, etc.

I like the menu setup.
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I expect that as usual it will be a pain in the butt in the sense that Microsoft designers and software engineers will design something that they are convinced it incredibly intuitive but it is not. The retraining is typically painful and costly.
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It looks like Microsoft is still goiong down the road of masive bloatware and forcing users to change the way they work rather than keeping the software usable and fixing the bugs. Metro sucks for the desktop and windows 8 sucks. I have been using it for several months now and still hate it.
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New releases come too often. need to spread them out by another year or 2
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Where are these version numbers coming from? MS Office 12 was 2007. How are they up to 15 already? The only one I remember between then and now is 2010...
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