Microsoft had posted a new job opening yesterday, which revealed a lot about Office 15. It is expected to include Facebook integration for messaging and presence. I had initially overlooked this piece of news, but with Microsoft removing the post within hours, tells me that it was a slip-up at the companies end. The job posting read, “For Office 15 we’re building new products to deliver integration of instant messaging/presence with social networks such as Facebook.” I did take a screenshot of it for my record. Now, it seems to be more handy than I though it would be.
Microsoft wanting to include Facebook integration in Office doesn’t surprise me. With Google improving the features of Docs, internet penetration rising and cloud computing on the growth, there is a huge challenge before Microsoft. Although, enterprises and SMB’s will still use Office, there is bound to be a shift in the usage by personal users. To woo them Microsoft has to provide additional features and Facebook integration is surely going to make a difference.
A few days back, we had also seen the leaked preview of Office 15, the follow-up to Office 2010, by Winreview.ru who received the product even before it entered the official testing process. The leaked images and video does show features which prospective buyers might be interested in seeing.
The reviewer pointed out the the GUI has moved away from Aero themes and is now visually in line with Metro, the GUI found in WP7, Zune and Microsoft’s new test homepage. He also added that PowerPoint has been given new templates, effects, and transitions, and Outlook has a new file sorting capabilities and new calendar layouts. But, only Excel was the one which the reviewer had problems with because of the built-in templates and incomplete .NET framework. This is just an early build, so Microsoft will definitely do away with the glitches.