Microsoft’s new CEO Satya Nadella took the wraps off the app we all knew was coming today during his first public address. Stressing the five to ten year outlook for Microsoft, Nadella shared his ideas on changing computing form factors not resembling the machines we use today. User interactions, apps, services, and cloud computing defining the future of our interactions.
General Manager for Office Development Julia White discussed the solutions Microsoft are developing to serve the crossover between corporate applications and consumer applications. Showing us a highly touch optimized version of the Office Suite for iPad.
Word, Excel, and Powerpoint feature a polished and smooth UI for tablet users. Microsoft has focused on touch and contextual information. Keyboards feed specific information for specific uses, like equations in Excel. Charts and graphs show previews incorporating user data instead of generic templates. Powerpoint receives presentation capabilities, like being able to annotate or highlight information in real time, and long pressing the screen will provide a virtual laser pointer to point to info on your screen or projection.
Utilizing OneDrive integration provides real time updates and collaboration tools online. It’s a clean layout, providing full support and formatting for Office documents, and we should see this variation of the Office suite arriving on Windows tablets and hybrids, and potentially Android hardware soon. Microsoft will be moving to a “Freemium” model, where read support will be free, but editing, collaboration, and creation support will require an Office 365 license.
As I predicted during Nadella’s CEO announcement, Microsoft is setting its sights on cloud services for business and consumer applications. Office for iPad will be available to download later today.
While this presentation focused on Office, Cloud, data mobility, Nadella couldn’t help but tease the upcoming Build conference starting April 2nd, where we’ll hopefully see the next stages of Windows and Windows Phone.
You can watch the full presentation via Microsoft’s News Center.