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What will future Office 2.0 apps look like?

A panel at the Office 2.0 conference has a few wishes for the future of business apps.

Office 2.0 is not just about putting Word and Excel online. What are the key things in Office 2.0 moving forward? The first panel at the Office 2.0 conference, hosted by GigaOm's Om Malik, tackles this. Some directions we can look forward to in future business applications:

    • Social networking. This can be a "game changer" for the workforce, if applied correctly to business needs. So says Microsoft's Richard McAniff. Interesting take, considering Microsoft's lack of juice in this arena. Is McAniff presaging a new product or acquisition?
    • Better tools to tackle the "signal to noise ratio" so users can stay focused on what matters most to their work. Widgets might play a role here. (I'm skeptical--little apps popping up to "help" us with work flow sound more disruptive than focusing.) This wish from SAP's Senior Vice President of Imagineering, Denis Browne.
    • Customization. Applications that are molded by the user or the enterprise to a much greater extent than they are right now. Another take on this: applications that adapt themselves to the user automatically. This is either a wish, or a preview, from Jonathan Rochelle, Product Manager of Google Spreadsheets.