This Week, Microsoft Makes Its Case For Windows 7 and Office 2010

It’s going to be a big week for Microsoft. Thousands of distributors, systems integrators and software developers, among others, have convened in New Orleans for the company’s annual Worldwide Partners Conference. They’ll have plenty of news to ponder. As we noted in our cover story a few weeks back, the company will unveil Office 2010, which may be the most radical release since the original Office suite in 1989 (not a particularly high-bar, some say). Rather than provide tools to enhance personal productivity, the new Office will offer features so that co-workers and others can simultaneously collaborate with each other—say, to write a sales proposal or nail down a sales forecast. This will require hundreds of millions of users to re-learn the product—always a risky proposition—but it makes up for it with a variety of other enhancements. Most notable: free, if less useful, Web-based versions of Office apps such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint. See TechCrunch’s product review here.

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