I’m at the announcement event for Microsoft Office 15. It’s being held at the Metreon in San Francisco. I’ll try and give a semi-running commentary of the announcement, assuming I can type fast enough, the Wi-Fi stays up, and my laptop battery lasts.
Before Steve Ballmer comes on stage they’re flashing quotes up on the screen:
- 56% of people send their first email before they leave for the office.
- 73% of people send their last email of the day after leaving the office.
12:00: Steve Ballmer arrives on stage. “The flagship application from Microsoft is Microsoft Office.” “Office is a service first. It’s the first version to be designed from the get go as a service.”
Four main talking points:
- Best on Windows 8
- New scenarios
12:14: Kirk Koenigsbauer arrives on stage to do a demo. Walking through the Presentation mode within PowerPoint. He’s now demoing Outlook. It’s a much cleaner design. Now demoing OneNote on a Samsung tablet. Now talking about Office 365. By default, content is stored in the cloud via SkyDrive. When in reading mode, Word will resize based on the real estate of the device. Now showing SkyDrive and how it shows the last location you were at within a document. Showing the new version of SharePoint; also much cleaner. Can preview a document without leaving SharePoint. Can aggregate social feeds (e.g., LinkedIn, Yammer) into the People Card. Turns out the Skype service is the consumer analog to Lync. Showing a screen where multi-party HD video session is at the top, PowerPoint is in the middle, and OneNote is to the side.
12:48: Steve Ballmer is back to sum up. Has a slide up that says:
- Windows 8: Touch, inking, Windows RT, OneNote/Lync
- Cloud: SkyDrive, roaming, subscription
- Social: Yammer, activity feeds, people card, Skype
- New scenarios: Annotating, reading, meetings
“It’s almost a visceral response you get,” says Ballmer, talking about the interaction between Office 15 and Windows 8. Now pitching the Office 365 preview at office.com/preview.