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Microsoft preparing to unveil Office 15, reports say

Microsoft could be preparing to show off the latest version of its Office suite as early as today, some reports suggest.

The unveiling will come ahead of the late October release of the company's Windows 8 operating system, with the full version of Office 15 expected to launch early in 2013.

There is much speculation over what changes Office 15 will bring to its wildly popular word-processing, presentation, and spreadsheet programs. It’s believed that the updated version of the software will feature Windows 8 integration, meaning it could very well be exclusive to that operating system and its Windows 7 predecessor. Older versions of Windows may not be supported, says USA Today.

According to PC World, Office 15 will boast "bold, basic colors, and square edges" similar to the design of Windows 8. It’s also expected to feature heavy cloud integration, with services like Facebook, Flickr, Hotmail and SkyDrive reportedly built in.

Given that it has probably been designed specifically with Windows 8 in mind, it’s likely that Office 15 will be optimised for touch-screen devices like Microsoft’s line of Surface tablet PCs, which has been cloaked in mystery since the announcement in June.

No word yet on whether the touch-screen optimisation means Office 15 will be available for the iPad, or whether it will be a Windows-only service.

Check back later today for the full lowdown on Microsoft's announcement.