new_office_logo_official.PNGThe new Office suite has been formally unveiled by Microsoft with Yammer and SharePoint taking center stage among the new features. See what else was shown off at the launch event today, and where you can download the new customer preview version. 

Comfy Seat and Popcorn Time

As mentioned last week, today Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will take the stage to present the latest Microsoft Office product. We'll get a formal name (likely Office 2013), details on collaboration, any new product and partner information plus how it will interact with all the upcoming Microsoft hardware (Windows Phone 8, Surface Tablets and so on). 

So, check in here for the live stream, sit back and enjoy the show, or shudder at the inevitable upgrade treadmill for your business. Are there any features you're most looking forward to? We'll have all the news from the event at the time, check back soon (12PM PST, 3PM EST, 8PM UK, 9PM CET). 

New Office Features...

Latest information will appear at the top of this section, highlights from the press release are at the bottom:

That's it for the live demos, we'll have more details on the new features, particularly in SharePoint and Yammer as soon as we can get the suite downloaded and running. 

The final demo was of Windows 8 running an 82" flatscreen from Microsoft's recent acquisition, Perceptive Pixel. With that, you could host HD meetings with remote workers, share and collaborate on docs, and all the other things you'll need to justify spending however much an 82" display costs. 

Excel has new features like smart filling of columns, based on existing data (works well in the demo, but definitely a feature I want to try). One-click pivot table creation was also shown, making it easy for all levels of user to access features. 

SharePoint and its social capabilities now being shown off. SharePoint has a new cleaner user interface. Social includes threaded conversations, "liking" of comments, linking of documents, access to instant messages, video calling (Skype) and so on. 

OneNote turned into a Metro app, to help improve sharing with digital ink, easy sharing, smart radial menus and apps for phones, tablets and other devices to help encourage the spread of your information. 

Show off the handy "Last Location" feature will take you to the spot you were working on in any document, on any device or computer. Handy for those massive reports or speadsheets you were working on last week.  

Microsoft is transitioning the Office suite to the cloud. Users will sign-in to Office when they start up, with your settings, templates, custom dictionaries and recent documents all stored in the cloud (on SkyDrive, with local support if needed). 

Office's new PowerPoint running on a Samsung tablet

First demo: PowerPoint

"Embracing Yammer as a social infrastructure to help people work collaboratively, more on that later."

The "most ambitious release of Office to date. Embracing Windows 8, RT, Surface and Windows Phone. Office will use the cloud to remember how you work and collaborate" Office is now delivered as a cloud-based subscription service, with documents saved by default to the cloud, for on-the-go access on your other devices. .

Customer Preview version will be freely available today. Download the suite here

Factoid: One-third of Office users are students. 

Steve Ballmer soon to present from San Francisco. He's started speaking, confirming this is the Office release, while summarising Surface, Windows 8, Xbox and other highlights for the company. A mention for Yammer which will be covered later on. 

From the Press Release

Office is On-Demand. With a subscription, you can access Office even when you are away from your PC by streaming full-featured applications to an Internet-connected Windows-based PC. New subscription services. The new Office is available as a cloud-based subscription service. As subscribers, consumers automatically get future upgrades in addition to exciting cloud services including Skype world minutes and extra SkyDrive storage. Subscribers receive multiple installs for everyone in the family and across their devices.

Office Is Social

Yammer. Yammer delivers a secure, private social network for businesses. You can sign up for free and begin using social networking instantly. Yammer offers integration with SharePoint and Microsoft Dynamics.


People Card. Have an integrated view of your contacts everywhere in Office. The People Card includes presence information complete with pictures, status updates, contact information and activity feeds from Facebook and LinkedIn accounts.

Office Unlocks New Scenarios

Digital note-taking. Keep your notes handy in the cloud and across multiple devices with OneNote. Use what feels most natural to you — take notes with touch, pen or keyboard, or use them together and switch easily back and forth.

Reading and markup. The Read Mode in Word provides a modern and easy-to-navigate reading experience that automatically adjusts for large and small screens. Zoom in and out of content, stream videos within documents, view revision marks and use touch to turn pages.

Meetings. PowerPoint features a new Presenter View that privately shows your current and upcoming slides, presentation time, and speaker notes in a single glance. While presenting, you can zoom, mark up and navigate your slides with touch and stylus. Lync includes multiparty HD video with presentations, shared OneNote notebooks and a virtual whiteboard for collaborative brainstorming.

Versions available:

  • Office 365 Home Premium — designed for families and consumers. This service also includes an additional 20 GB of SkyDrive storage and 60 minutes of Skype world minutes per month.
  • Office 365 Small Business Premium — designed for small businesses. This service also includes business-grade email, shared calendars, website tools and HD webconferencing.
  • Office 365 ProPlus — designed for enterprise customers who want advanced business capabilities and the flexibility to deploy and manage in the cloud.