Microsoft said Office XP users will be able to open and close files and perform other common tasks via voice command. In addition, smart tags will more tightly integrate the suite with information from the Web, enterprise data sources and other applications, Microsoft said.
Microsoft called XP "the most significant version of Office ever released".
But Meta Group programme director Ashim Pal said, "The radical implementation will be the one after XP, when the user interface will look more like a portal."
To enable Office users to work more closely together, Microsoft has introduced Sharepoint Team Services, a set of intranet applications that enable workgroups to build their own sites.
Other new features include the ability to cut, copy and paste multiple data sets to the clipboard, a unified reminder window and a document recovery feature, that will "guarantee" that no data is lost in the event of a system crash.