With the Metro UI getting so much attention lately, both with the upcoming Xbox 360 dashboard and the Windows 8 Start screen, there are hints that Microsoft is bringing the UI to the Office Suite. Love it or hate it, the Metro UI is a big deal for Microsoft engineers and UI developers. It has a simplistic view and is very easy to navigate. Although it appears to be very touchscreen targeted, it also works well with a keyboard and mouse. Yes, I know that Windows 8 needs some work on that, but it is just a developer preview to program and test Metro applications. It isn’t a full fledged OS yet, and hasn’t even hit beta yet.
Microsoft isn’t discussing how it will provide Office support in the Windows 8 Metro interface but I suspect that the support will be basic and allow for moderate editing without a keyboard and mouse. Microsoft isn’t ready to dump the keyboard and mouse just yet and nor is the industry. The keyboard and mouse is an essential tool for precision based computing. Office applications like Excel would become difficult to operate in touch only conditions given the complex nature of some spreadsheets.