Microsoft's latest version of Office pushes customers toward using cloud-based services that makes the suite of applications available on any device -- PC, tablet or phone -- and has a user interface tuned to work with the touch-centric Windows 8 operating system.The combination of the new Office with Windows 8 and Microsoft's SkyDrive cloud storage make an environment that is more productive than the traditional Office, says Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. "Together I think they're quite magical," he says.
The company made the announcement during a press conference today in San Francisco but didn't say when the new Office and its related services will be available. Pricing details will be revealed this fall, the company says.
Ballmer refers to the updated Office suite in combination with cloud subscription services through Office 365 as "the new Office," but the software itself is Office 2013.
Details about the new Office help bring together in a more cohesive way new and updated products that Microsoft has announced recently -- the latest operating system, Windows 8, the cloud service SkyDrive, and the new PC/tablets called Surface.
The company's vision is that consumers will buy a Windows 8 device such as Surface and subscribe for an Office service that provides cloud access to the applications, automatic upgrades, extra cloud storage and Skype minutes for calling regular phones from Office apps. The service accommodates multiple users and devices within a family, for example.
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