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Office 15 previewed

posted Jul 17, 2012, 2:11 AM by Jerry Dawson
So apparently Steve Ballmer previewed the new Office suite last night in San Francisco. I haven't had a good look at it yet, but the main selling points seem to be that it's essentially cloud-based (or SaaS as we used to call it) and that it's using Metro for improving touchscreen functionality.
Neither of these particularly appeals to me. Frankly, tablets are lightweight computers in all senses of the word, and there's not a hell of a lot I can do with them. They're also not much use of you're sitting in an office filling out Excel sheets or typing up documents. And cloud storage centric. Not really - I'd rather keep it on my own PC - unfortunately internet connectivity is still too flaky from a hardware perspective to be fully dependent on cloud services. Except of course if you're a company with dedicated pipes - but then there's a whole raft of security procedures and associated investment - well, I can see that being a bit of an issue.
So at first sight this is a bit of an Office 2007 situation: where there was a big technology jump, but there was also enough problems with the usability, that it prohibited many organisations from making the jump until they were ironed out in Office 2010. What I haven't caught up on yet is whether there's a similar technology change at the heart of the new Office, or whether it's all about the interface and transport mechanisms and not about the actual applications layer.