Microsoft Offers Office 10 Details

Microsoft Corp. on Tuesday announced its newest version of Microsoft Office, which currently is undergoing its first technical beta testing and will hit retail stores in about 10 months.

Pricing is not available for the new version of Office, referred to as Office 10 and expected to be released in May or June of 2001, said Lisa Gurry, a product manager with Microsoft's Office team. Different suites are available with Office, but typically it includes Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, Powerpoint and Access.

Some of the new offerings in the next version of Microsoft Office include:

-- Smart Tags -- The icons offer direction, guidance and shortcuts to Office capabilities and also provide access to relevant data.

-- Task Pane -- The pane offers access to a variety of Office functions, such as language translation assistance, a clipboard and search capabilities.

-- Speech recognition -- Technology allows users to create and edit documents using either dictation or voice command.

-- Hotmail and MSN Instant Messenger integration-- Word Count toolbar -- The new toolbar will count words, characters, lines, pages or paragraphs.

-- Application and document recovery -- The function will allow users to automatically recover a document if a file, application or system error occurs.

-- Application error reporting -- Users can automatically report a problem to Microsoft or an organization to receive assistance.

-- Native XML (Extensible Markup Language) support -- Microsoft Excel and Access now support XML as a file format.

Microsoft also has added functions that are designed to improve the collaboration on documents. In this same vein, Microsoft will offer a new Web-based application for managing team projects, information and activities. Microsoft said the newest version of Office will be the first suite that is part of the Office.Net initiative that works to integrate Web services.

Microsoft's last version of Office came out in June 1999.

Microsoft, in Redmond, Washington, can be reached at +1-425-882-8080 or at http://www.microsoft.com/.

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