Microsoft unveils new version of Office
SAN FRANCISCO, Jul 16, 2012 (San Jose Mercury News - McClatchy-Tribune News Service via COMTEX) --
Microsoft on Monday unveiled a new version of its Office software suite designed with its upcoming Windows 8 operating system in mind.
The updated Office applications have been rejiggered to work more easily with touch-screen devices. One of the prime features of Windows 8 is its Metro interface, which was designed for smartphones and tablets.
"This is the most ambitious release of Office we've ever done," CEO Steve Ballmer announced at a news event.
The new Office is designed to be extraordinarily flexible, Ballmer said. Users will be able to run it on touch-screen tablets and PCs, he said. They will be able to interact with it using their fingers, styluses, keyboards and mice. And they can purchase it as packaged software or subscribed to as a service.
The new software is also designed to embrace some of the latest technology trends. By default, the new Office will save users' documents and settings on Microsoft's servers. That will allow users to access all their documents and settings regardless of what Office compatible device they are using, from a Windows PC to a Windows phone.
The new software will incorporate social networking. Users will be able to share documents on Facebook or LinkedIn and instantly connect with contacts on Skype while within the Outlook email program. And Microsoft is turning its SharePoint service into something of its own social network, allowing users to post messages, comment on others message and share links or videos.
Microsoft declined to say when the new Office will be available or how much it will cost. It will come in multiple versions and will have at least two different brand names. The online version will maintain its "Office 365" moniker, while the retail version will go by Office 2013.
The company said it will release more details on the software this fall.
(c)2012 San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.)
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