San Francisco (dpa) – Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer introduced the company’s new Office programme Monday as the software giant attempts to halt an alarming encroach on one of its main moneymakers from Google’s suite of productivity apps.
Ballmer called the new software ”the most ambitious version of Office we’ve ever done,” with the main difference to previous versions being a shift to a cloud-based subscription service that will integrate the programme onto subscribers’ various devices.
Together with the launch, Microsoft made available a preview version of the Office 2013 available for free download.
The new version is more tablet and touch friendly than previous iterations of Microsoft’s best-selling software and is designed to integrate closely with the company’s new operating system Windows 8, which launches in October.
Among other significant changes are the ability to edit PDF documents in Word, and a read-only mode that turns documents into full screen editions similar to e-books or digital magazines. Details of pricing and availability were not released.
”We are taking bold steps at Microsoft,” Ballmer said at the press conference in San Francisco. ”The new, modern Office will deliver unparalleled productivity and flexibility for both consumers and business customers. It is a cloud service and will fully light-up when paired with Windows 8.”