Microsoft has unveiled Office 2010, the next release of its office productivity suite.
Microsoft demonstrated several enhancements which will be included in the 2010 release of Office in a downloadable"technical preview" during the company's annual worldwide partner conference.
Microsoft has made collaboration a key part of the new product, with the inclusion of the technology it acquired through Groove Networks. Microsoft said Office 2010 will enable multiple users to edit the same document. Each user will be able to "lock" a paragraph, similar to the way cells are locked in a multi-user Excel spreadsheet.
Outlook has also been updated to improve collaboration, by providing a threaded conversation view of e-mail messages in the user's inbox.
Along with collaboration features, Microsoft has added a paste preview option to the cut and paste command. It allows users to select objects from the clipboard and have them appear in the right format in the Office document.
Microsoft will sell three main versions of the Office 2010 suite for professional users, small businesses and a student/home user edition. All three will include the comapny's One Note note taking application.
Due to be released in the first half of 2010, Office 2010 will be able as a downloadable, browser-based product. as well as desktop installation. Users will be able to run the browser version in-house, over the company's intranet, or use a free version, hosted on Microsoft's Windows Live cloud service.