Thursday, May 13, 2010

Microsoft Pushes A Smooth Envelope With Office 2010

I've been using Office for at least ten years, but I'm not a loyalist. I could as well use OpenOffice, which is an excellent suite, and a free one at that. Today I went to Microsoft's press event for Office 2010, which was held at the same NBC-studio at Rockefeller Center where Saturday Night Live is filmed, but the event was despite this rather dull and predictable with an delayed opening, where we were treated to PowerPoint slides telling us among other things that people in 60 countries were watching today's event, which must have made the delay exponentially more embarrassing.

Stephen Elop, president of Microsoft's Business Division (left photo), was a fresh face - he joined Microsoft in January 2008 - but he did okay. Not exactly a Steve Jobs-show, but this was after all a press conference about office productivity. Once the rather predictable customer interviews and even more predictable videos were played, things got interesting.

Chris Capossela, senior vice president of Microsoft's Information Worker Product Management Group, did a very convincing demo of Office 2010, and brought out its many innovations and its integration across platforms, showing how you or a team can work with a document on your PC, laptop and smartphone at the same time, and for example broadcast a PowerPoint slide show from your desktop PC to other people's browsers or cellphones.

I came back from the event with a similar first impression as I had when I returned from the Windows 7 launch in October. Microsoft seems to finally have figured it out. Here is elegance, ease-of-use, really intelligent applications and smart integration, and not much of the annoying interference with our work we learned to hate with Vista.

Hans Sandberg

Note: Microsoft did not allow any photography at the event, so I had had to rely on the company for these two photos.
Disclosure: Microsoft handed out a free copy of Office Professional 2010 to participants in the press conference.

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