Office 2010: Most Innovations are Online

Pricing is still unknown; however Microsoft says it will bring the number of Office editions down from eight to five

It has taken Microsoft a long time to bring its flagship Office suite to the Web and now it finally has with Office 2010. The software suite comes packed with meaningful improvements such as new cut-and-paste features for Word and new ways to broadcast your PowerPoint presentations online. But the most striking addition to Office 2010 is the introduction of Office Web Apps. These are light-weight versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote that are all accessible via desktop, mobile devices, and Web browsers Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari.

Microsoft released a technical preview of Office 2010 to developers Monday giving the public a first official glimpse at the software giant's flagship Office software. We've been playing around with Office 2010 for a few weeks now. Our thoughts on the software are outlined below. Sadly we'll have to wait a bit longer for testing Office 2010 Web applications. According to Microsoft its Web apps can't be tested until later this year.

Final versions of Microsoft Office 2010 and Office Web applications are expected within the first half of 2010. Pricing is still unknown; however Microsoft says it will bring the number of Office editions down from eight to five. When Office Web applications launch they will be free and available through Microsoft's Windows Live set of online services. Businesses will be able to choose an Office 2010 licensing option that allows them to host their own Office Web applications. Microsoft's Office 2010 Web site can be found here.

Watch Out Google Apps: Microsoft Now Lets You Create, Edit, Save Office Docs Online

For key Office 2010 programs such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint and the online collaborative program OneNote Microsoft now includes Web applications. Microsoft says all the Office 2010 Web applications will be available to anyone with a free Windows Live account. Access will allow you to create, edit, and share existing documents with others. You'll also be able to store documents online to a free Windows Live SkyDrive account.

Online: Office Word App

Don't expect identical features with the online version of Word. Microsoft says it's doing its best to make it a close match in look-and-feel to the software equivalent of Word making sure the Web version retains the same look and feel as in the desktop. Word, like all Office 2010 Web apps, retains the "ribbon user interface." Don't expect the identical functionality as the software client version of Word. With Office Word App you can:

* Create, edit, and save Word documents

* Add tables, bullets, and styles to Word documents

* The browser-based version of Word has AutoCorrect and background spelling checker.

Online: Office PowerPoint App

With the Office PowerPoint App you can create and edit presentations from the Web - that includes the ability to pick a theme and slide layout. Other online features include:

* Ability to add animations

* In-browser and full-screen Slide Show views.

* Autocorrect, spelling checker, and auto-numbering/bulleting and undo/redo.

* Ability to insert pictures, charts and tables into existing PowerPoint presentations

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Tom Spring and Edward N. Albro

PC World (US online)
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