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MS Office gets social and touch

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MS Office gets social and touch

Microsoft has unveiled its new Microsoft Office, featuring a number of new designs including a touch interface.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer unveiled the customer preview of the product, saying: “We are taking bold steps at Microsoft. The new, modern Office will deliver unparalleled productivity and flexibility for both consumers and business customers. It is a cloud service and will fully light-up when paired with Windows 8.”

Among the new design features is the ability to work with touch, stylus, mouse or keyboard across new Windows devices, including tablets. In addition, the new Office is social and unlocks modern scenarios in reading, note-taking, meetings and communications and will be delivered to subscribers through a cloud service that is always up to date.

Office responds to touch as naturally as it does to keyboard and mouse. Users can also use a stylus to create content, take notes and access features. Or they can handwrite email responses and convert them automatically to text.

OneNote and Lync represent the first new Windows 8 style applications for Office. These applications are designed to deliver touch-first experiences on a tablet. A new radial menu in OneNote makes it easy for users to access features with a finger.

Office Home and Student 2013 RT, which contains new versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote applications, will be included on ARM-based Windows 8 devices, including Microsoft Surface.

The new version of Office is also designed for cloud usage.

Office saves documents to SkyDrive by default, so content is always available across tablet, PC and phone. Documents are also available offline and sync when the user reconnects.

Once signed in to Office, personalised settings, including the most recently used files, templates and even custom dictionary, roam with the user across virtually all devices.

With a subscription, users can access Office even when are away from their PCs by streaming full-featured applications to an Internet-connected Windows-based PC.

The new Office is available as a cloud-based subscription service. As subscribers, consumers automatically get future upgrades in addition to exciting cloud services including Skype world minutes and extra SkyDrive storage. Subscribers receive multiple installs for everyone in the family and across their devices.

In addition, Office is plugged into social networks.

Yammer delivers a secure, private social network for businesses. Users can sign up for free and begin using social networking instantly. Yammer offers integration with SharePoint and Microsoft Dynamics.

Usr can also follow people, teams, documents and sites in SharePoint. View and embed pictures, videos and Office content in their activity feeds to stay current and update colleagues.

PeopleCard lets users have an integrated view of your contacts everywhere in Office. The People Card includes presence information complete with pictures, status updates, contact information and activity feeds from Facebook and LinkedIn accounts.

The new Office comes with Skype.

The new featurs in Office enable a number of new scenarios, including digital note-taking, reading and markup, and meetings.

The product comes in three versions: Office 365 Home Premium designed for families and consumers; Office 365 Small Business Premium designed for small businesses; and Office 365 ProPlus designed for enterprise customers who want advanced business capabilities and the flexibility to deploy and manage in the cloud.