First Look: Microsoft Office 2010 technical preview
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First Look: Microsoft Office 2010 technical preview

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The Microsoft Office 2010 technical preview shows a lot of promise, with feature enhancements and welcome additions across the entire suite of apps. Check out our overview of the next version of Microsoft's popular office suite.

[ background music ] >> Hi, this is Jason Parker from CNET's download.com. And today we're going to be looking at the Microsoft Office 2010 technical preview to see what's in store for the Office suite. The technical preview is invite only, and we were lucky enough to get some hands on time to bring you a brief overview. Office 2010 brings a slew of new features across the entire Office suite, with the intent of helping you manage your workload across your PC, your phone, and your web browser. Though the online components for each of the applications will not be available for testing until later this year, a number of features in the technical preview hint at how they might work. For now we'll talk about the features and enhancements that caught our eye in the latest Microsoft Office. The Ribbon, which made an appearance in Office 2007, is back, and now works across all applications in Office 2010. Ribbon tabs are contextual, so your tab options will now change based on what commands you're using. A new feature enhancement called Quick Steps enables you to quickly take advantage of commonly used features in your workflow. This addition gives you access to more Office applications and features, no matter which Office program you're working with at the time. The new conversation view in Outlook makes handling email much more efficient. Rather than sifting through countless emails, you'll be able to pick through the entire conversation for relevant information. You can even strip out duplicate bits of information by using the new cleanup conversation option, which deletes redundant messages from the conversation. If you use Office for making your own publications, newsletters, or even flyers, new fun typography options enable you to add your own personal style to specialized fonts. Added options for ligatures give your documents an added stylistic flourish. Also, you'll now have alternate styles to common or newly added fonts to give you more options for how your end product looks to customers and readers. Another new feature which we think many people will appreciate is paste preview. Works across most of the applications of Office 2010, letting you make sure items in the clipboard will look the way you intended when you paste them into a document. Once you have content in the clipboard, just mouse over the paste button to view available paste options. If you use images in your documents, you'll now be able to perform simple edits from within many of the 2010 applications. Choose from several different image effects without ever opening an image editor. Like most of the new features in Office 2010, these features are found easily in the Ribbon. One of the biggest changes to Microsoft Office suite is the new backstage feature. Working as an enhanced replacement for the file menu, backstage view brings related but separate tasks onto one page for easy access. You can print, save, set permissions, or share with other people, all with just a few clicks of your mouse. Overall we like what we see so far in the Office 2010 technical preview. And there's much more than what we've shown here today. New video editing in PowerPoint, new easier to read spreadsheets in Excel, and don't forget online versions for all of these applications, making collaboration from anywhere incredibly easy. Office 2010 will be released to the public early next year. [ background music ] And from the looks of things, it's going to be a welcome upgrade. I'm Jason Parker for CNET. Thanks for watching.

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