Microsoft has revealed a customer preview of its new Microsoft Office productivity suite, which features familiar programs including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. It is designed to work with touch, stylus, mouse or keyboard controls and offers more social and cloud-based connectivity than previous versions.
A separate version of the software called Office Home and Student 2013 RT will be built into ARM-based Windows 8 devices, including the forthcoming Microsoft Surface tablet.
Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s CEO, said “We are taking bold steps at Microsoft. The new, modern Office will deliver unparalleled productivity and flexibility for both consumers and business customers. It is a cloud service and will fully light-up when paired with Windows 8.”
The new Microsoft Office saves documents to the SkyDrive cloud service by default, offering synchronised document access across tablets, PCs and mobile phones. It also integrates the Skype VoIP service.
As well as being available for purchase, Office will be sold as a cloud-based subscription service that offers automatic upgrades, extra SkyDrive storage and additional copies for family members.
Full details will be announced this autumn.