Microsoft Chief Says Cloud-Based Update To Office Is “Magical,” But Has No Price Yet

Programs including PowerPoint, Outlook, Word, Excel, and OneNote aren’t sexy. But since Office is, for better or worse, the de facto standard for business, the update unveiled today is sure to attract a lot of attention. It’s “the most ambitious release of Microsoft Office that we’ve ever done,” Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer says. While he didn’t mention Google Apps — the free, rival collection of writing, presentation, spreadsheet, social networking, and communications services already based in the cloud — they were clearly in Microsoft’s sights. There’s something else he didn’t mention: price and availability for the three versions (Office 365 Home Premium, Office 365 Small Business Premium and Office 365 ProPlus). They’ll be disclosed in the fall. “We have a lot of work to do to get the cost down,” Ballmer says, but he says the applications work together in a way that is “magical.” (more…)

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