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Revealed: what makes Office 2010 great

How Microsoft's new suite differs to old versions

As Microsoft unveiled Microsoft Office 2010, we look at how the office suite is better than previous versions.

Microsoft recently unveiled to developers a technical preview of Office 2010. The software suite is 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 lightweight versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote that are all accessible via desktop, mobile devices and the web browsers Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari.

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.

We've been playing around with Office 2010 for a few weeks now, although sadly web apps can't be tested until later this year. Here's what we think about the new office suite.

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 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 identical functionality to 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 while also utilising AutoCorrect and background spelling checker facilities.

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

Small business IT advice

NEXT PAGE: The features of the online Excel app

  1. We look at how the new suite differs to previous versions
  2. The features of the online Excel app
  3. The new versions of Excel, Powerpoint and Outlook


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