The Complete Guide To Microsoft's Office 2010
Monday, July 13, 2009; 1:50 AM
The web has been abuzz the past few weeks with chatter about Microsoft's announcement today at its Worldwide Partner Conference in New Orleans about the new version of Microsoft's Office 2010. There's even a mini-movie about its debut. Facing potential challenges from the browser from Google's Apps product and its new Chrome OS, Microsoft has been touting its three screens strategy, which is the ability for products to synchronize across the phone, browser, and desktop, for some time now.
With the release of Office 2010, SharePoint Server 2010 and Visio 2010, we finally see implementation Microsoft's Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie's mantra. We had the opportunity to see an in-depth demo of the new suite of products from Microsoft's Group Product Manager for Office 2010, Chris Bryant. Here's a complete breakdown of all the functionality that has been added, including screenshots:
The Move To The Browser
Most certainly a direct challenge to Google Apps, Microsoft is rolling out lightweight, FREE, Web browser versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote. All based in the cloud, the web-based versions of these products have less features than their desktop cousins but still let users that users basic tools to edit and change documents.
PowerPoint has been upgraded not only with a new browser version, but also a slew of bells and whistles to the desktop version. Users now have the capability of editing video and images within PowerPoint with a basic video editing tool (not so different from the capabilities of iMovie) and a image editing tool, which is like a basic, simple version of Adobe Photoshop. Microsoft has also added the ability for users to launch a Web-ex-like live sharing feature with other users. So if you create a slideshow in PowerPoint, you can share it with other people in real-time (which can be run on top of Sharepoint).
Here's what the video editing tools look like in PowerPoint:
To share a deck with other users, you send an email to individuals with a link. Once they click the link, they will see the slideshow within the browser. This feature can also be used on a mobile phone's browser. You can also create a slideshow in the desktop version and then publish it to the web version to access it via the browser. The browser version of PowerPoint doesn't include the video editing features, but most of the functionality of 2008 is included in the browser version.
Excel spreadsheets can now run in the browser, and similar to PowerPoint, spreadsheets can be published to the browser via the desktop version. The browser version of Excel has limited features, but offers more in-depth functionality than Google Spreadsheets. Microsoft has added a particularly innovative feature called Sparklines, which gives a visual snapshot image of a data trend over time within a cell. You can also share Excel via the browser with other users and set special permissions on who can access the document.
Here's what the web version of Excel looks like: