Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Microsoft relocates new Office software to the cloud

Microsoft revealed a preview of its latest Office software, which offers an increasing number of cloud and social features. 

The software would be offered as a subscription service, similar to the existing Office 365 for businesses delivered by service providers, and come with access to the Sky Drive online storage service and Skype. Users will be able to save settings and documents, to be accessed from any device by logging into their Office account. 

The new Office would also feature Yammer, the social network for business users recently acquired by Microsoft, and integration of presence and contact information from other programmes such as Microsoft SharePoint and Lync and social networks Facebook and LinkedIn. 

The software was adapted to work with a range of new devices, ahead of the launch of Windows 8 for tablets. It will function through touch, stylus, mouse or keyboard.
The details on pricing and availability will be announced in the autumn.   

Microsoft said it plans three new Office 365 subscriptions: Office 365 Home Premium for families and consumers, including 20 GB of SkyDrive storage and 60 minutes of Skype world minutes per month; Office 365 Small Business Premium, including e-mail, shared calendars, website tools and HD webconferencing; and Office 365 ProPlus for enterprise customers who want advanced business capabilities and the flexibility to deploy and manage in the cloud.

Each subscription would include the 2013 editions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher and Access. In addition, subscribers will receive rights to future upgrades as well as per-use rights for up five PCs or Macs and mobile devices.