Microsoft reveals latest Office refresh

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Microsoft today revealed the latest version of its Office software, which it says will integrate more closely with tablet computers and cloud-based storage.

The refresh complements the work being put into Windows 8, which has been in the pipeline since last year and is designed to operate on both PCs and tablets.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer says the new Office on tablet will be an “uncompromised experience”, and not a “junior version” of the full PC edition.

The release will see obvious improvements to Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote and Excel, but also a big change to Microsoft’s cloud service, SkyDrive.

Through the SkyDrive service, documents can be stored online through default settings with a memory facility enabling users to pick up where they left on when on the move.

Microsoft also confirmed the new Office will be available as a service first, enabling programs to run easily on multiple devices connected to the Internet.

Microsoft has yet to reveal release dates and pricing, although the company has confirmed that three core packages will be offered: Office 365 Home Premium, for consumers, Office 365 Small Business Premium for SMBs, and Office 365 ProPlus for enterprises.

The new Office is due out later this year; in the meantime, a preview version is available for download here.

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