updated 05:35 pm EST, Tue January 31, 2012
Developers said to be facing time constraints
Microsoft may be sticking to traditional Windows programming for the upcoming Office edition, which is currently referenced by the monicker Office 15. The overhaul is said to include a revamped interface with a radial menu system designed for touch input, however unnamed sources have told The Verge the utilities will not be true Metro-style apps.
The discrepancy is claimed to be a result of the time-frame required to reprogram the range of apps using Microsoft's WinRT model. Until the developers have more time to transition the apps to WinRT, the updated interface is said to include several cosmetic changes such as fewer lines and more white space.
The software is also said to be on track for Windows on ARM-based hardware, however the sources suggest the suite will be forced to run in a restricted desktop mode to optimize power consumption.
Separate reports suggest Office 15 will require a relatively long development cycle, with a release-to-manufacturing (RTM) build not expected until the end of the year. If true, ARM tablets running Windows 8 may arrive on the market months ahead of Microsoft's popular productivity software.