Thanks to a Microsoft Research post we get to have a look at what could be the UI for the upcoming modern app versions of Microsoft Office. The post is about a unified inking concept in Windows, but that’s not the most interesting thing, the slides show the UI of the new Modern Windows apps for Office, codenamed ‘Gemini’. The inking in these images is just a concept, it may or may not be added to Windows/Office at some point. The Office UI on the other hand looks like more than just a concept, it might very well be what the final apps will look like.
It’s been a year and a half since Microsoft released Windows 8 and its ‘Modern’ interface to the world, but we’re still yet to see a touch-first interface emerge for the company’s Office suite, until now. In what can be only described as a slightly odd move, Microsoft Research has published an extensive document that details the company’s plans for ink-based computing but also happens to show screenshots of what appears to be our first glimpse at a truly touch-first Office interface. The PDF document, which goes into a lot of detail about how Microsoft believes ink based computing should work, shows many screenshots from the main Office products, including Word, PowerPoint, Outlook and Excel but specifically focuses on how the company hopes pen computing will work in the future.