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Microsoft announced that it will begin widespread testing of Office 2010. In addition to the desktop app, Microsoft also announced that a web-based version of Office 2010 will be availble for "free." Well free for Windows Live users.
Microsoft said at the Worldwide Partner Conference 2009 that they will invite tens of thousands of customers to begin testing Microsoft Office 2010. The latest offering from Richmond boasts plenty of new features including: broadcast and video editing in PowerPoint, new data visualizations in Excel, and co-authoring in Word.
Then there's the online part.
Noticing Google's increasing popularity with Docs, Microsoft will have accompanying Office Web applications, with ads, available to over 400 million Windows Live users for no cost. The service will also be available on-premises for those that are Office volume licensing customers and by Microsoft Online Services, where customers can buy a subscription to Office Web as part of a hosted offering.
There is a Microsoft Office 2010 Technical Preview site, where Microsoft states:
Office Web Applications, the online companion to Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote applications, allow you to access documents from anywhere. You can even simultaneously share and work on documents with others online. View documents across PCs, mobile phones, and the Web without compromising document fidelity. Create new documents and do basic editing using the familiar Office interface.
Microsoft Office 2010 will be available to purchase sometime in the first half of next year, and they have reduced the versions from eight to five. There has been no word on Office for Mac since this announcement, but it will more than likely make an appearance with a Mac version as well, which will no doubt utilize the web services as well.
Does this make you like/want Office more than before? Will you use it over the free Google Docs? Let us know!