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Microsoft Office 2013 ‘most ambitious release’ to date

Microsoft have been showcasing their upcoming Office 2013 release. Quirky CEO Steve Ballmer has described the upcoming release as the companies ‘most ambitious release’ to date.

The software is targeting mobile devices, social networking and cloud computing. With a user base of a billion people worldwide, it is also the companies main revenue stream.

Microsoft held an hour long presentation on Monday, with Ballmer and Kirk Koenigsbauer on hand. Koenigsbauer is the vice president of the Office division and he was keen to point out how the software had been adapted to keep pace with technology changes.

Office 2013 is fully touch ready, to link in perfectly with Windows 8, the companies latest operating system expected for release in October. Microsoft are also planning to release their new Surface tablet around the same time, and if they have touch ready Office software available then their sales figures could rocket. Word, PowerPoint, Outlook and Excel will all have full support for taps, swiping and pinch and zoom.

Ballmer said the new software is more ‘immersive’ and ‘visceral’ compared to the older versions.

He pointed out:

  • Documents, slides, and presentations can be marked up on mobile screens, drawn on, highlighted or annotated with a digital pen, stylus or even a finger.
  • Skype, bought for $8.5bn (£5.4bn) in 2011, and Yammer, a social network for businesses, are being rolled into Office: live, multi-party conversations and meetings can be created with Skype video and accessed within Word, PowerPoint, or Outlook.
  • New “People Cards” include an individual’s digital “presence” – a photo, options to email, instant message, phone or video chat, and activity feeds from the social networks Facebook and Linkedin.
  • Skydrive automatically saves and syncs all Office documents in an online, cloud-based storage service. This makes files and content created in Office available on demand across computing devices.

Microsoft Office was worth $14 billion in 2011, more than half of the company profits, according to research firm Gartner.

Kitguru says: A good idea to release all the interconnected new products at the same time to drive interest and sales.

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