Microsoft has kicked off a "technical preview" of the next version of its Office suite and promised that a public beta will ship this summer.
The move is a repeat of the route Microsoft took with Office 2010, which was distributed to a select group of testers as a technical preview in July 2010.
In a recent blog post that announced the preview, Microsoft said little about "Office 15," the code name for the product, and nothing about the new Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint component applications.
"I'm not able to share too much about Office 15, but I can tell you Office 15 is the most ambitious undertaking yet for the Office Division," wrote P.J. Hough, the executive who heads the division. "With Office 15, for the first time ever, we will simultaneously update our cloud services, servers and mobile and PC clients for Office, Office 365, Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, Project and Visio."
Hough said the Office 15 technical preview was "already full," but added that "everyone will have the opportunity to try the Office 15 public beta later this summer."
He did not specify a date or set a month for the beta's availability.
This version of this story was originally published in Computerworld's print edition. It was adapted from an article that appeared earlier on Computerworld.com.