Full Metro UI shown in Office “15” screenshot leak – what will Windows Live Wave 5 look like?

By LiveSide | Posted April 15, 2011 56 comments

Screenshots of the next version of Microsoft Office – often referred to as “Office 15”, have begun to surface around the web. Today TheHotFix.net leaked a brand new screenshot showing Microsoft Outlook “15” with an overhaul of the Metro user interface:

Outlook 15 with Metro UI

Those who love the Zune software’s user interface will definitely love to see the striking resemblance here in Outlook “15”. While the screenshot does not show how the "Ribbon" interface will blend in with this new "Metro" UI, this is definitely a great start in blending the beauty of the Metro UI with the efficiency of the Ribbon (or "Fluent") interface.

For those of you who had been using Windows Live Essentials 2011, you would know that most of the applications have already been transitioned to the Ribbon interface (most notably Windows Live Mail, Photo Gallery, Writer, and Movie Maker). With Microsoft Office blending the Ribbon interface with the Metro UI, it would be interesting to see where the Windows Live Essentials apps are going in the next "Wave 5" release, particularly if you consider Windows Live Mail and Writer to be closely related products to Microsoft Outlook and Word. (Not to mention the Zune software might become a Windows Live product too!)

With recent leaks of Windows 8 sporting some elements of Metro UI, and we’re already seeing some elements of "Metro" in apps like Messenger, we definitely see Windows Live Essentials going the same path with Wave 5. What do you think about this new UI? Do you think it’s the right path to take for Windows Live Essentials?

Posted April 15th, 2011 at 6:23 pm
Category: News
Tags: Metro, Office, UI, Wave 5
  • Pradeep

    This is how Windows Live Essentials inspired by Metro will be,

    http://pradeepviswav.wordpress.com/2010/10/02/windows-live-essentials-inspired-by-metro/

    • Chris

      I love those mock ups. I like the dark ones. Easier on the eyes.

    • Damaster – LiveSide.net

      Love these mockups. Indeed, looking at some of the mockups (like the Windows Live Mail one) reminds me of an expanded version of Windows Phone 7’s mail app. By making Windows Live Essentials metro-like, it would make them a perfect fit for Windows 8 tablets. Think of them as the iPad version of iPhone apps.

      It would also be interesting to see if Windows Live Essentials would also take advantage of the APPX model. It’s rumored that these APPX apps could be made cross-platform (compatible on both Windows 8 and Windows Phones app stores). Of course these are pure speculation.

    • http://www.pbase.com/brentgv Brent

      It’s fun to dream!

      • john

        lol

      • Chris

        lol, give the guy a break. They look good. I’d like to asee you do something better

        • http://www.pbase.com/brentgv Brent

          What the hell? I have no problems with his mockups. In fact, I subscribed to the dude’s RSS feed for his blog. I dig his sh*t. But it’s still dreaming. I wish Microsoft was as inventive.

  • Pradeep

    This is how Windows Live Essentials inspired by Metro will be,

    http://pradeepviswav.wordpress.com/2010/10/02/windows-live-essentials-inspired-by-metro/

    • Chris

      I love those mock ups. I like the dark ones. Easier on the eyes.

    • damaster

      Love these mockups. Indeed, looking at some of the mockups (like the Windows Live Mail one) reminds me of an expanded version of Windows Phone 7’s mail app. By making Windows Live Essentials metro-like, it would make them a perfect fit for Windows 8 tablets. Think of them as the iPad version of iPhone apps.

      It would also be interesting to see if Windows Live Essentials would also take advantage of the APPX model. It’s rumored that these APPX apps could be made cross-platform (compatible on both Windows 8 and Windows Phones app stores). Of course these are pure speculation.

    • http://www.pbase.com/brentgv Brent

      It’s fun to dream!

      • john

        lol

      • Chris

        lol, give the guy a break. They look good. I’d like to asee you do something better

        • http://www.pbase.com/brentgv Brent

          What the hell? I have no problems with his mockups. In fact, I subscribed to the dude’s RSS feed for his blog. I dig his sh*t. But it’s still dreaming. I wish Microsoft was as inventive.

  • belami

    I think the cloud services…Windows Live Hotmail, Calendar, Skydrive, Photos, Office (for the web), etc. will all get a Metro overhaul with Wave 5. That would be incredible! I love Metro. It’s so refreshing and artsy! :D

  • Game_Over_Malik

    I think the cloud services…Windows Live Hotmail, Calendar, Skydrive, Photos, Office (for the web), etc. will all get a Metro overhaul with Wave 5. That would be incredible! I love Metro. It’s so refreshing and artsy! :D

  • http://jvd897.blogspot.com jvd897

    As much as I like Metro, I have mixed feelings about this. How will this integrate with the Ribbon? Is it hidden by default, as the screenshot seems to suggest? A UI element like the Ribbon, with so many basic functions, is too valuable to hide away, and I can imagine a Metro-inspired Ribbon very easily.

    What’s more, Microsoft has so many different UI styles in play right now that they had better settle on one, find ways to combine them, or at least define them for separate purposes. Examples:

    – The toolbar found in Windows Media Player, Windows Photo Viewer, and throughout Windows Explorer in Vista and 7 (dark blue in the former, light blue in the latter). Note that it was also used in Windows Live Essentials (Mail, Photo Gallery, etc) until being replaced with the Ribbon. Accordingly, Paul Thurrott and Rafael Rivera report that Microsoft is experimenting with adding the Ribbon to Windows 8’s Explorer, which seems like overkill to me. If I recall correctly, they also considered adding it to IE8, but decided against it even back then.
    – The Ribbon. Note that there are tons of variations on the Ribbon: there’s the one in Office 2007 with the round orb in the top left and a clunky gradient; there’s the one in Office 2010 with a “File” menu, a lighter tone and fewer borders; and there’s the one in Windows 7’s Notepad and Paint. And then there’s the whole issue of Backstage view. Is this now a part of the publicly-available Ribbon control, or is it specific to Office?
    – Metro. I love what Metro brings to the Zune software, Windows Live Messenger, and even Windows Media Center. I think it’s very finger-friendly, but I’m worried that it could be very easily overused on the desktop. The problem is that Metro apps, pretty though they might be, just don’t fit the overall native “feel” of Windows, with Aero’s emphasis on glass, translucency, and photo-realistic icons.

    In short, my biggest complaint with the Windows UI and third-party programs is that within the course of one day, you could encounter so many different interface styles. The layout and style of programs in OS X and Ubuntu seem to be more consistent, even if Ubuntu still looks boring and geeky to my eyes (but let’s not get into that). If Microsoft really is planning to add a touch-friendly, Metro-inspired shell to Windows 8, then Metro versions of Office and Windows Live Essentials would be nice — otherwise, I’m not convinced that this is the best route.

    Food for thought! Sorry if this came off as preachy.

    • Ted

      Good points, I agree. Currently, many different Microsoft properties look inconsistent. I hope a shift towards the metro design will change this.

    • Chris

      This is about the points you brought up

      1. I agree with you on this. If you even go back to Vista and the wave 2 and even wave 3 days, there was a diferent code used for that bar. I remember WLPG had a different gradent and even size compared to lets say mail even clear type font did not work. I was glad to see the ribbon added as it finnaly cleared up that mess. I fell if they create a “mini ribbon” that could place the icons on the right instead of on top and thus slimline the ribbon it could work.

      2. I hope backstage becomes main stream to be honest. I’d love to see the options and dialog boxes that pop up after clicking items in explorer (example the share option) will be integrated in backstage as well as the center point for the the settings and options for the said program. Not sure if this would even ruin code in Windows?

      3. I fully agree on this. I hope Aero sticks around but metro as a secondary UI option (perhaps a replacement for the “classic” theme?) Right now I actully use Clear screen Sharp as I find the UI better then the current aero. Its cleaner, more polished, even HD like and I fell its how aero SHOULD be and thats why I use it.

      It is nice to see Microsoft creating a GUI that would be the same across the board.

    • Mike Lowrey

      Well if you understand the basic ideas of both ribbon and metro ui it’s really simple to get an idea of how to combine them.

      Just look at the kind of applications using ribbon ui
      Office(especially Word/Powerpoint/Excel etc)
      Windows Live Movie Maker
      Windows Live Photo Gallery

      All of them have something in common: You WORK with the content they are showing!

      Now look at applications using metro ui
      Zune Player
      Windows Phone 7 applications

      All of them have something in common too: You CONSUME the content they are showing!

      The essence is in applications like Outlook or photo gallery you have to use different “views” for different scenarios.
      If you are interested in getting new information(or viewing your photos) you need a metro ui view like the screenshot of Office 15 shows… but if you are working on an e mail you need the ribbon ui.

      Of course both ribbon and metro need a fitting color scheme whish is my main critique because currently the scheme doesn’t fit together

      • Chris

        Well said.

  • jvd897

    As much as I like Metro, I have mixed feelings about this. How will this integrate with the Ribbon? Is it hidden by default, as the screenshot seems to suggest? A UI element like the Ribbon, with so many basic functions, is too valuable to hide away, and I can very easily imagine a Ribbon that fits the Metro style.

    What’s more, Microsoft has so many different UI styles in play right now that they had better settle on one, find ways to combine them, or at least define them for separate purposes. Examples:

    – The toolbar found in Windows Media Player, Windows Photo Viewer, and throughout Windows Explorer in Vista and 7 (dark blue in the former, light blue in the latter). As noted in the article, it was used in Windows Live Essentials (Mail, Photo Gallery, etc) before being replaced with the Ribbon. Accordingly, Paul Thurrott and Rafael Rivera report that Microsoft is experimenting with using the Ribbon in Windows 8’s Explorer, which seems like overkill to me. If I recall correctly, they also considered using it in IE8, but decided against it even back then.
    – The Ribbon. Note that there are tons of variations on the Ribbon, between Office 2007, Office 2010, and the one in Windows 7’s Notepad and Paint. And then there’s the whole issue of Backstage view. Is this now a part of the publicly-available Ribbon control, or is it specific to Office?
    – Metro. I love what Metro brings to the Zune software, Windows Live Messenger, and even Windows Media Center. It’s finger-friendly, but I’m worried that it could be very easily overused on the desktop. The problem is that Metro apps, pretty though they might be, just don’t fit the overall native “feel” of Windows, with Aero’s emphasis on glass, translucency, and photo-realistic icons.

    In short, my biggest complaint with the Windows UI (and the third-party programs that use it) is that within the course of one day, you could encounter so many different interface styles. The layout and style of programs in OS X and Ubuntu seems to be more consistent, even if Ubuntu still looks boring and geeky to my eyes (but let’s not get into that). If Microsoft really is planning to add a touch-friendly, Metro-inspired shell to Windows 8, then Metro versions of Office and Windows Live Essentials would be nice — otherwise, I’m not convinced that this is the best route.

    Food for thought! Sorry if this came off as preachy.

    • Ted

      Good points, I agree. Currently, many different Microsoft properties look inconsistent. I hope a shift towards the metro design will change this.

    • Chris

      This is about the points you brought up

      1. I agree with you on this. If you even go back to Vista and the wave 2 and even wave 3 days, there was a diferent code used for that bar. I remember WLPG had a different gradent and even size compared to lets say mail even clear type font did not work. I was glad to see the ribbon added as it finnaly cleared up that mess. I fell if they create a “mini ribbon” that could place the icons on the right instead of on top and thus slimline the ribbon it could work.

      2. I hope backstage becomes main stream to be honest. I’d love to see the options and dialog boxes that pop up after clicking items in explorer (example the share option) will be integrated in backstage as well as the center point for the the settings and options for the said program. Not sure if this would even ruin code in Windows?

      3. I fully agree on this. I hope Aero sticks around but metro as a secondary UI option (perhaps a replacement for the “classic” theme?) Right now I actully use Clear screen Sharp as I find the UI better then the current aero. Its cleaner, more polished, even HD like and I fell its how aero SHOULD be and thats why I use it.

      It is nice to see Microsoft creating a GUI that would be the same across the board.

    • Mike Lowrey

      Well if you understand the basic ideas of both ribbon and metro ui it’s really simple to get an idea of how to combine them.

      Just look at the kind of applications using ribbon ui
      Office(especially Word/Powerpoint/Excel etc)
      Windows Live Movie Maker
      Windows Live Photo Gallery

      All of them have something in common: You WORK with the content they are showing!

      Now look at applications using metro ui
      Zune Player
      Windows Phone 7 applications

      All of them have something in common too: You CONSUME the content they are showing!

      The essence is in applications like Outlook or photo gallery you have to use different “views” for different scenarios.
      If you are interested in getting new information(or viewing your photos) you need a metro ui view like the screenshot of Office 15 shows… but if you are working on an e mail you need the ribbon ui.

      Of course both ribbon and metro need a fitting color scheme whish is my main critique because currently the scheme doesn’t fit together

      • Chris

        Well said.

  • http://sanatgersappa.tumblr.com/ Sanat Gersappa

    Lovely!

  • http://sanatgersappa.tumblr.com/ Sanat Gersappa

    Lovely!

  • Adrian

    Looks like “Jed Brown” is going to be reprimanded for this leak. He’s blurred out all the emails, but left his email address in clear view in the top-left corner!

  • Adrian

    Looks like “Jed Brown” is going to be reprimanded for this leak. He’s blurred out all the emails, but left his email address in clear view in the top-left corner!

  • Chris

    I think so. I also think this may be a replacement for the classic theme on Windows 8. (as of now its very out of place on Windows 7 with the superbar) Metro will allow you top have a “dark” and “light” theme with a set of your own colors for the text and “lines”, and the select option for control boxes. (see the link “Pradeep” posted)

    I could see a white or sliver metro theme with a nice dark red or blue used in businesses. Clean, yet professional.

  • Chris

    I think so. I also think this may be a replacement for the classic theme on Windows 8. (as of now its very out of place on Windows 7 with the superbar) Metro will allow you top have a “dark” and “light” theme with a set of your own colors for the text and “lines”, and the select option for control boxes. (see the link “Pradeep” posted)

    I could see a white or sliver metro theme with a nice dark red or blue used in businesses. Clean, yet professional.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dannyaguilar Daniel Aguilar

    It almost feels like I invented this. The first time I and many others saw the refresh of the Zune software, I immediately thought, why doesn’t MS use this UI for all its products.

    • Chris

      I think an early look at this came with the introduction of media center (a product that I, my self is sad to see never really taking off. )

  • http://www.facebook.com/dannyaguilar Daniel Aguilar

    It almost feels like I invented this. The first time I and many others saw the refresh of the Zune software, I immediately thought, why doesn’t MS use this UI for all its products.

    • Chris

      I think an early look at this came with the introduction of media center (a product that I, my self is sad to see never really taking off. )

  • http://www.facebook.com/dannyaguilar Daniel Aguilar

    Now we need to start lobbying in a revamp of the Aero UI. Or maybe just kill it off completely. Aero WAS a good idea. Not so much anymore.

    • Chris

      I’d love for them to kill off classic for this. Its clean, simple and professional when the right colors are used. Maybe not such large text..

  • http://www.facebook.com/dannyaguilar Daniel Aguilar

    Now we need to start lobbying in a revamp of the Aero UI. Or maybe just kill it off completely. Aero WAS a good idea. Not so much anymore.

    • Chris

      I’d love for them to kill off classic for this. Its clean, simple and professional when the right colors are used. Maybe not such large text..

  • Gerbil

    I’d much rather see some new functionality in Wave 5 than just a new UI.

    • Chris

      Im sure there will be

    • Zebo

      Yeah, “lipstick on a pig”? :)

  • Gerbil

    I’d much rather see some new functionality in Wave 5 than just a new UI.

    • Chris

      Im sure there will be

    • Zebo

      Yeah, “lipstick on a pig”? :)

  • http://w1ngnut.myopenid.com/ w1ngnut

    Nice! Looks like Zune!

  • http://w1ngnut.myopenid.com/ w1ngnut

    Nice! Looks like Zune!

  • http://twitter.com/WebstyleCenter Peter van Dam

    Lol, I guess Jed Brown can look for another job. Faded everything away but his email address… Not a good choice….

    But the metro look on outlook looks great, I just hope the programs can have light-colored backgrounds like you can enable in Zune, else looking at just white windows (with maybe a different colored bottom border) is to boring after a short period.

    But I look forward to the changes, I just wonder if the ‘general’ users will understand where all the buttons went and how things work.

    • ted

      Its funny, the same screenshot on WinRumors……. doesnt have his email. Its just blank white space instead.

  • Peter van Dam

    Lol, I guess Jed Brown can look for another job. Faded everything away but his email address… Not a good choice….

    But the metro look on outlook looks great, I just hope the programs can have light-colored backgrounds like you can enable in Zune, else looking at just white windows (with maybe a different colored bottom border) is to boring after a short period.

    But I look forward to the changes, I just wonder if the ‘general’ users will understand where all the buttons went and how things work.

    • ted

      Its funny, the same screenshot on WinRumors……. doesnt have his email. Its just blank white space instead.

  • Simontang

    I personally think the Metro-look works for many cases, such as websites and stuff, but I feel like the Metro UI just doesn’t look quite right here- and considering how stressed out I generally am when I’m forced to use MS Office for work, the all-caps and the blatantly whited out background with text way out of proportion makes me feel like my computer is “yelling” at me.

  • Simontang

    I personally think the Metro-look works for many cases, such as websites and stuff, but I feel like the Metro UI just doesn’t look quite right here- and considering how stressed out I generally am when I’m forced to use MS Office for work, the all-caps and the blatantly whited out background with text way out of proportion makes me feel like my computer is “yelling” at me.

  • http://profiles.google.com/hongdongdonald Hongdong QIN

    Windows Live Messenger IS somewhat Metro already… I personally prefer Metro to Ribbon (I use Zune as primary media player, too). I would say Metro is “correct”, LoL. But my friends seems not very familiarised with Metro. Time will tell.

  • http://profiles.google.com/hongdongdonald Hongdong QIN

    Windows Live Messenger IS somewhat Metro already… I personally prefer Metro to Ribbon (I use Zune as primary media player, too). I would say Metro is “correct”, LoL. But my friends seems not very familiarised with Metro. Time will tell.