Microsoft finally got around to launching Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 (news, site) at a scheduled event in New York that was big on PR and small on new detail, or details that haven’t already been flagged before.

Officiating at the launch, which also featured a number of Microsoft partners, was Stephen Elop, president of Microsoft’s (news, site) business division. He told us that 8.6 million are already using the platform as part of the most extensive beta the company has ever been involved with.

Enhancing Business Productivity

The launch of the 2010 products is about business productivity and improving ways in which enterprises deal with the growing volume of information business processes produce, he said.

“It is a moment of fundamental change and there are a lot of reasons for this,” he added, including tighter budgets and a more mobile workforce.

The deployment of the 2010 products will add two weeks productive work per person per yearas 40% of the day is spent culling the information that arrives on desktops. That represents a 300% return on investment over three years or 7 ½ months to pay for the investment.

‘Millennial’ Generation Products

Speaking about what he referred to the “millennial” generation -- a generation of users preoccupied with social networking sites -- Elop made much of the connectors that come with the 2010 line of products.

The objective, he said, was to offer users who are using social media on a daily basis at home the same access to social media in the workplace. As a result users will be able to use social networking features in Outlook, which also comes with support for SharePoint 2010 social networking.

Learning Opportunities

In a similar vein he said that the reason that they were offering slimmed-down versions of common applications through Web Apps was that this same generation of computer users will be entering the workforce in a matter of years and that Web Apps would give them familiarity with Microsoft products. However, Web Apps won’t be available until June 15.

Another significant upgrade is that PowerPoint can now be used to make presentations viewable on the Internet (see:5 Cool Things in SharePoint 2010 That You May Not Know About).Users will also be able to run word-processing software Word, spreadsheet-maker.

The 2010 products are only available to companies that participate in Microsoft's volume license programs at the moment. They will all become generally available in June.

Also check out: SharePoint 2010 Review: The New 6 Pillars of SharePoint