Microsoft has been working on the next version of Office for Windows, codenamed Office 16, and newly-leaked screenshots of the software reveal the company is planning to go darker in terms of design colours.

According to The Verge, Microsoft is privately testing an Office Technical Preview of Office 16 and has distributed copies to partners and testers. The tech website presumably got its hands on of these copies, allowing us to see all the upcoming yet still early changes.

One of the most interesting additions is a new black theme. It was reportedly the most requested feature for Office 2013. The black theme isn't a default theme but rather an option alongside gray, dark gray, and white themes. Another new feature is a helper tool in the desktop version of Microsoft's Office Online apps.

Called Tell Me, the helper tool sits at the tops of documents and works alot like the old Clippy feature. It provides help as well as search options, but there's no animated character to be found. It's just a bulb icon, and you can ask it questions like "How do I change font?" to get to relevant tutorials and advice.

And finally, as you can see from the screenshots below, Microsoft has kept the Office Ribbon and included an automatic image rotation feature. The new feature pulls camera metadata in order to correctly position images, automatically.

You'll notice that Microsoft hasn't implemented too many interface changes, thus Office-devotees shouldn't be too worried about what's coming in Office 16.

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