Microsoft unveils Office 2010 in technical preview

Microsoft explains how the web-based apps side of the Office suite will work.

Microsoft today unveiled the first version of its Office 2010 suite at its Worldwide Partner Conference.

The technical preview is the first time the next version of the Office suite has been made publicly available, at first to attendees of the conference. It will be released in the first half of 2010, but we will see a beta before then.

Web-friendly

The major news is that the web-based versions of the Office lineup will take on so-called cloud apps like Google's Docs and Adobe's Acrobat.com.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

Office product manager Chris Adams told IT PRO that Microsoft is looking to make applications like Word, Excel and PowerPoint available anywhere be it the desktop, mobile phones or via browsers.

But he stressed that not all features will make it to the mobile versions.

He compared it to Outlook. To get full functionality, users need to access Outlook via their desktop computer, but a feature-limited email client is also available via web browsers and mobile phones.

"What we're looking to do is take the same idea and extend it to Office as well," he said. "We're definitely not looking at replicating features across all three."

Instead, Microsoft is hoping users will work in all three versions, letting them edit documents on the go. For that to work, documents need to flow easily between different versions of the Office suite. "Customers are unwilling to accept any loss of formatting or loss of document fidelity," he said.

The web-based apps will be available in three versions. Businesses will be offered a paid-for, on-premise version, while others can buy a subscription via Microsoft's new online services system. There will also be a free version, targeted at consumers and small businesses registered to the Windows Live web portal, which has some 400 million users.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Microsoft doesn't think offering a cut-down version of Office over the web will hurt sales of the suite, however. "We are really confident about the momentum we have," said Adams, adding that the free version might be ad funded something Microsoft is yet to make a call on.

While he stressed the web apps will "complement" the desktop version, Adams admitted some users might just use the free edition. "In some scenarios, web access is perfect for some users," he said.

Featured Resources

Report: The State of Software Security

This annual report explores important trends in software security

Download now

A fast guide to finding your cloud solution

One size doesn't fit all in the cloud, so how do you find the best option for your business?

Download now

Digitally perfecting the supply chain

How new technologies are being leveraged to transform the manufacturing supply chain

Download now

Small & Medium Business Trends Report

Insights from 2,000+ business owners and leaders worldwide

Download now
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/mobile/28299/how-to-use-chromecast-without-wi-fi
Mobile

How to use Chromecast without Wi-Fi

5 Feb 2020
Visit/hardware/354723/coronavirus-starts-to-take-its-toll-on-the-tech-industry
Hardware

Coronavirus starts to take its toll on the tech industry

6 Feb 2020
Visit/operating-systems/microsoft-windows/354739/windows-7-bug-blocks-users-from-shutting-down-their-pcs
Microsoft Windows

Windows 7 bug blocks users from shutting down their PCs

10 Feb 2020
Visit/in-depth/354726/sonos-speakers-are-environmentally-unsound
In-depth

Sonos speakers are environmentally unsound

9 Feb 2020