updated 11:20 am EST, Thu February 23, 2012
Office 15 Technical Preview shows with screens
Microsoft is close to releasing the final version of Windows 8 Consumer Preview, as it has stopped compiling beta builds of the software, The Verge learned. The final build is said to be officially signed off on this Friday and carry the 8250 designation. Windows 8 Consumer Preview will have a dedicated event at Mobile World Congress on Wednesday, with a public release likely at or near the same time. Build 8250 will have pre-installed games and apps.
At the same time, the next Office suite's Technical Preview stage has been leaked by the same outlet, with screenshots embedded below. The apps run as standard desktop apps in Windows 7 and 8, with some of them bundled in an ARM edition of Windows 8, due out later in the year.
The design appears more minimalist as a default, with few options in the top ribbon. There is a full-screen "backstage" menu that mimics Office 2010 and contains navigation controls on the left.
Outlook 15 has the most visible changes, including its Metro-style navigation at the bottom and People replacing Contacts.
Office 15 will let users share documents with others through a Broadcast Slide Show feature. Present Online replaces the Broadcast Slide Show feature first found in PowerPoint 2010. Windows Live is used to share documents online in other Office 15 apps.
The first public beta is expected to come out this summer.