Beginning of this week Microsoft started the Technical Preview program for the upcoming new version, so far called Office 15. As stated:
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.
The Public Beta (i.e., everyone can have it and play with it) is announced to be available in Summer this year and the final release is expected (not announced yet) in Spring 2013.
If you are a developer, you already can have a look at changes in the Object Model – Microsoft has made the SDK (for the Technical Preview!!!) available here (if you get the CHM file to work).
Another interesting aspect is the User Interface-question: Will Office 15 be Metro Style in Win 8 or not? and what impact will this have on SharePoint? Especially on customized applications?
A word of caution here: you can find “leaked screenshots” and videos all over the net. Yes, some may be close to the final product, but we really don’t know yet. As far as I’m concerned, the value of these screenshots and videos is pretty small. The most critical issue for me is compatibility with SharePoint and Office 2010.