Office 2010 Headed For Spring Release - InformationWeek

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Office 2010 Headed For Spring Release

The new version will include free Web access to Excel, PowerPoint, Word, and Notepad.

Microsoft narrowed the timetable for releasing Office 2010. The next version is "coming out in the spring," said Robbie Bach, president of Microsoft's Entertainment and Device Division

Bach made the disclosure during remarks last week at Microsoft's first annual open house in New York. While Microsoft has officially said the suite will be available in the first half of next year, Bach gave a more specific time frame.

"New version of Office which is coming out in the spring, you'll see that," Bach said, according to a transcript of his remarks on Microsoft's Web site.

Microsoft was unavailable Monday for comment. As head of Microsoft's entertainment division, Bach is in charge of the Xbox 360 video-game console, the Bing search engine, Windows Phones and other products.

Microsoft in July outlined a host of new features in Office 2010, with many geared toward users of Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and other popular Web 2.0 tools.

The upgrade of the market-leading software will include free Web access to Excel, PowerPoint, Word and Notepad, a move that's in keeping with the Microsoft's "work anywhere" them for the new offering.

Office users will be able to tap the online service through the Windows Live Portal. Users will be able to more easily tag content in the Web-based version of Office and post the documents to blogs and social-networking sites.

The company also has added many collaboration features to the Web service and the client-based version of Office.

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