Microsoft unwraps 'new generation' of Office
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) –
The new Office includes touch features familiar to users of tablets and smartphones. Ballmer, in a presentation in San Francisco, said the software suite also has been "designed as a service" to meet the needs of the rising trend of cloud computing.
The rollout takes place amid other major initiatives from the Redmond, Wash.-based technology powerhouse. Microsoft is facing heightening competition from rivals such as
Microsoft (MSFT) is gearing up for the launch of Windows 8, its popular personal-computer operating system, which will showcase multitouch features. The company also has unveiled its own media tablet called Surface, which highlights its focus on the mobile market. The new product integrates elements of social networking, underscoring the growing importance of social media in corporate IT. The new Office includes the ability to communicate using Skype.
The rollout of these other products "makes this wave of Office the biggest, most ambitious we've ever done in our history," Ballmer said.
IDC analyst Al Hilwa said the rollout is clearly Microsoft's attempt to focus on innovation as a way to regain its position.
"Since the iPhone it was caught in a classic innovator's dilemma," Hilwa said in emailed comments. "What today's news shows is that far from ignoring the innovation in a lost decade, the company has been working hard to leverage it and has aligned its entire innovation and acquisition engines around it. The test for Microsoft will be how it straddles this dilemma by keeping its existing customers happy and winning new ones."