Microsoft Office 2010: What’s new?

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Microsoft Office 2010 (codename Office 14) is the next version of the Microsoft Office productivity suite for Microsoft Windows. It entered development during 2006 while Microsoft was finishing work on Microsoft Office 12, which was released as the 2007 Microsoft Office System.

It was previously thought that Office 2010 would ship in the first half of 2009, but Steve Ballmer has officially announced that Office 2010 will ship in 2010. The new version will implement the ISO compliant version of Office Open XML which was standardized as ISO 29500 in March 2008.

The software giant plans to offer a Web-based version of its Office productivity suite, known as Office Web that will debut with the release of Office 2010. Office Web will include online versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. The next versions of Microsoft Office Visio, OneNote, Microsoft Office Project, and Publisher will feature the ribbon interface element used in other Office 2007 applications.

Builds
Earlier this year, on April 15, 2009, Microsoft confirmed that Office 2010 will be officially released in the first quarter of 2010. They also announced on May 12, 2009 at an event, that Office 2010 will begin technical testing during July. It will also be the first version of Office to ship in both 32-Bit and 64-bit versions.

New features
At present, the technical preview of Office 2010 would not be available as it will be starting from July onwards, but when Microsoft used it to show improved integration with Windows 7 at its event this week, various experts find out some of the new features of the new Office.

•    The ribbon surface was introduced in Office 2007 and it is here to stay, but now the Office 2010 ribbon gets the flatter Windows 7 look. Ribbon is a form of toolbar, combined with a tab bar.
•    In the new application, instead of the round Office icon, there is a button in each app that looks like the buttons for the different tabs on the ribbon, in the signature colour of that application (green for Excel, blue for Word, red for PowerPoint, yellow for Outlook and so on).
•    The app windows, which were removed in Office 2007, get their window menus back. The applet you restore, move, size, minimise, maximise or close the window.
•    Now with a right-click on the Outlook icon on the taskbar, user can create a new email message, appointment, contact or task, or open the inbox, calendar, contact or tasks window.
•    In the new office, you can drag a file from the jump-list of any application onto the navigation pane in Outlook to create a new mail message with the file as an attachment. Outlook can automatically ignore all the replies of the messages you are not interested in.
•    The company says user can create his own Quick Steps, making them sound like a combination of the Quick Access Toolbar and macros. For e.g., common tasks like filing a message, creating a meeting, marking a flagged message and deleting it at the same time. Also, user can create quick steps for things he do over and over again in Outlook.
•    In new Office outlook, voice mail can be converted to the text and sent as an email. Also, it can sync text messages from a Windows Mobile 6.1 phone into user’s inbox and reply to them.
•    When you reply all to messages you were BCC on, a warning is displayed on the desktop. Redmond based company claims that starting, searching and shutting down Outlook are all much faster and also promises that Outlook will run and search faster than the 2007 release.
•    At present, there is no news on the next version of Office for the Mac, but the next version of Outlook Web Access will run on Safari and Firefox with all features, rather than in a Lite version.

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