Microsoft unveils the next version of Microsoft Office tablet friendly

Microsoft today unveiled the latest version of its Office software, the first ever designed specifically with tablet computers and Internet-based storage in mind. The new programs in Office 2013, which includes Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook, and is releasing a customer preview for users to try out.

“This is the most ambitious release of Microsoft Office we have ever done,” Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, said at an event in San Francisco today.

Microsoft hopes the addition of touch-based controls will enable Office to extend its franchise into the rapidly growing tablet computer market. Microsoft said the new Office was designed as a service first, so the programs can run easily on multiple devices connected to the Internet.

The programs will store documents online through Microsoft’s SkyDrive service by default, meaning users will have to change settings to store documents on their own computer.

If you’re eager to get your hands on this new set of tools, you’ll be glad to know you won’t have to wait. Microsoft has posted a Customer Preview of Office 2013 here.You’ll need to be running Windows 7 or the Release Preview of Windows 8 in order to install it.

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