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Microsoft makes Office Web free, shows 2010

updated 11:10 am EDT, Mon July 13, 2009

MS Office Web and 2010

Microsoft today used its Windows Partners Conference to expand the details of Office 2010, including its web version. Initially considered separate, Microsoft now says Office Web is a counterpart to 2010 but will make it freely available to anyone with a Windows Live account. It will also be free to use on the local network for companies that buy volume licenses of Office 2010, though companies that just want the web app component will also have the option of a subscription.

As previewed in the past will be "lightweight" versions of Excel, OneNote, PowerPoint and Word but will preserve formatting. The apps won't be limited to Internet Explorer and Windows and should represent one of the few times that an Office release is concurrent on all platforms.

The offline version has now been renamed to Office 2010 and will represent a significant update but less dramatic than Office 2007. It has a reworked version of the "ribbon" interface that incorporates some menus as well as a new opening screen that simplifies getting to recent documents. Individual apps have also received specific updates. More than one user can now co-author a OneNote, PowerPoint or Word document; Outlook has also received improved calendaring and e-mail, including the option to ignore irrelevant conversations. PowerPoint now offers basic built-in image and video editing as well as a broadcast option.

Both Office 2010 and its web element will be available sometime in the first half of next year. A technical preview is available now through an invitation process. Office 2010 is Windows-only but is unofficially assumed to indicate the direction of future Mac versions, which often follow one year later.

Office web apps (Word shown)

Office 2010 (images via SuperSite for Windows)

by MacNN Staff



  1. bearcatrp

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Free for now..

    until enough folks start using it and starts charging for it. Cloud computing begins for MS. Google has already started and apple will begin when there server farm goes online. The next 5 years will be interesting.

  1. shawnde

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not enough toolbars ...

    Man, I'm really disappointed. I was hoping that there would be way more toolbars on the screen when you open the App.

    I recently bought a 23" screen specifically for MS Office and it's toolbars, and now it looks like they're not interested in jamming up the workspace with toolbars. What's up with that?

    What's this ribbon business? Is that a new thing? Isn't that just a toolbar with bigger icons and a new name?


  1. mytdave

    Joined: Dec 1969


    1st hit's free

    Hey man, want a hit? 1st one's free. It'll feel good. I'll be your friend...

  1. Mimi-mim

    Joined: Dec 1969


    iPhone Compatible

    Hmm. Microsoft's answer to Google Docs. I don't know who I'd trust least with my data: Google or Microsoft.

    Still, the "two-thousand-teens" decade looks like it's going to be a tough one for Microsoft, what with Apple on one side of Microsoft and Google on the other.

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