Microsoft announces new version of Office

Available today, the new suite is considered by CEO Steve Ballmer "the most ambitious version of Office we've ever done."

Ballmer talks Office. James Martin/CNET

Microsoft has pulled back the curtains on the latest version of its Office suite.

At a press conference today, CEO Steve Ballmer announced the new version, noting that a preview edition of the cloud-based Office 365 edition will be available for people to try out today.

Ballmer called this "the most ambitious version of Office we've ever done." Touting the cloud-based Office 365, the CEO also said that this is a version that lets users simply click start and being running.

Office 15 launched as a technical preview this past January, available for testing to only a small number of people who then provided feedback to Microsoft on the product. Based on screenshots, the product takes a page from the world of Metro, emphasizing a simple and uncluttered interface.

Office is currently used by more than 1 billion people around the world, according to Microsoft.

Watch our First Look of the new Microsoft Office:

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.


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