Microsoft today announced that it has begun the Technical Preview program for Office 15, the next version of its office productivity suite. While details are still sparse, the software giant did say, however, that Office 15 is the most ambitious undertaking yet for the Office Division. And that suggests some interesting changes ahead.

"This morning, we reached an important development milestone: the beginning of the 'Office 15' Technical Preview Program," Microsoft's PJ Hough wrote in a post to the Office Exec blog. "Office 15 is the codename for the next generation of the Microsoft Office products and services, and the Technical Preview is the first time we share our work with a select group of customers under non-disclosure agreements. These customers play a key role in our development process by testing early builds and providing feedback, which we incorporate into the final release."

Office 15 will be a big release, Microsoft says, and this will mark the first time it will simultaneously update all of its Office-based cloud services, servers, and mobile and PC clients for Office, Office 365, Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, Project, and Visio. 

The public beta is expected "this summer," Microsoft says. The technical preview is already full, so no sign-ups are available at this time.

"I want to thank everyone who is participating in the Technical Preview for their contributions and all our customers for their continued support," Hough added. "Quite simply, Office 15 will help people work, collaborate, and communicate smarter and faster than ever before."