Microsoft kickstarting beta program for next version of Office

Microsoft headquarters, Washington
Microsoft headquarters, Washington

Microsoft has reportedly started sending out emails to a select number of users enrolled in its Office Pre-Release feedback program informing them that it is about to begin.

Winbeta published a snippet of that email, which asked the recipient to accept or decline an invitation to enter the Office Pre-Release testing program.

As part of the beta test, a number of programs will be run concurrently, lasting from a few weeks to as long as several months. "As cloud services and devices become more ubiquitous in our lives", the email continues, "it's an exciting new landscape ahead with endless possibilities!"

It is too early at this stage to speculate on what exactly will be on offer during the testing period; it is highly likely that Microsoft will offer client-based and cloud-based options to be tested.

Will Gemini, a touch-centric version of Office, or even its iOS/Android applications be part of the mix? No one knows for now. One things is certain, Windows Phone will be there as it was mentioned in the invite email.

Apparently, the current beta version of Office for Windows carries the build 16.0.3030.1018. Earlier last month, screenshots of what appeared to be Office 16 (or Office 2015) surfaced with what seems to be minor feature improvements.

Desire Athow
Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.