Microsoft is apparently working on two new Office apps for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. Currently code named as Office Reader, this app provides a cross format tool for consuming different formats of content. The Office Lens app for Windows Phone allows one to scan and convert a picture using optical character recognition.
This information comes from an employee-only Microsoft meeting which took place September 26th. Microsoft’s Kirk Koenigsbauer was on hand during the meeting and he showcased Office Reader. He also featured some of the updates that will be coming to Office, as part of the “Gemini” wave of updates.
“Office Reader is a new modern Windows 8-style app that supports web pages, Office documents, PDFs, ebooks, and textbooks. At first launch it includes library, sources, and recommendations sections,” a report from The Verge stated.
Koenigsbauer also demonstrated PDF support in Office Reader, along with the ability to reflow text to navigate through PDFs easily on a touchscreen. There is also Bing support allowing you to search for whatever item you select. There is also support for using a stylus so you can circle, underline, highlight, and make notes on any document.
Not much is known about the Office Lens app, but that it will be for Windows Phone. This app will let you take a picture of a whiteboard and automatically scan and convert that picture using optical character recognition.
“Gemini” is the codename for the next big update to Office, in which we are expecting a Metro/Modern version of the Office productivity suite. That’s the rumor, at least. The “Gemini” range of Office updates are rumored to roll out sometime next year.Further reading: Microsoft, Office