Earlier this year Microsoft announced that Office 2010 will be released sometime in the first half of 2010 – very likely in the first quarter of 2010. With so many businesses dependent on the Office suite of products I thought it would be good to post a quick preview of what Microsoft expects to deliver in this new iteration of Office. Additionally, I’ll be posting regularly on the features and changes of each application – Word, Excel, Outlook and the rest as the weeks roll on. Presently, I thought I might provide a quick overview of the general concepts and goals behind the upcoming new version
Design – Office 2010 will make use of the familiar “ribbon” navigation tools found in Office 2007. Unlike ’07, however, Outlook will also take on the ribbon look and feel. Additionally, the “file” button (the Microsoft symbol in the upper left hand corner of the interface in Office 2007) will be incorporated into the toolbar – hopefully avoiding some of the confusion the file button caused in the 2007 line of products.
Access – Office 2010 will ship with what are called Office Web Apps. Essentially, these are lightweight versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote that are all accessible via desktop, mobile devices, and Web browser. Clearly, Microsoft thinks Google is onto something with their Google Docs and it will be interesting to see how the two compare.
Collaboration – Just like in the 2007 product, significant emphasis was put on the ability to collaborate with other people on documents. This includes a number of updates to the core product (enhanced security, deeper integration with SharePoint, and obviously the integrated use of Office Web Apps.
Social Media? – Okay, this is entirely unfounded – well almost entirely unfounded – but in writing this post I found information stating that Word 2010 will include functionality that allows users to integrate with social media tools such as Facebook and twitter. Interesting? Yes. Confirmed? No.
Stay tuned for more posts on the upcoming Office 2010 release. Definitely more good stuff to come.