What’s a new version of Windows without a new version of Office? Windows 8 is coming out this fall and Microsoft is following it with a new incarnation of Office specifically designed for tablets and Windows 8.
What does it mean for business? As usual, Microsoft will change their licensing for Office again and again create confusion for businesses about what version to buy and how many licences are required.
In fact there will be double the confusion about versions as Microsoft will offer an online version and a local version of Office. Online will be cheaper but totally dependent on having guaranteed Internet access: appropriate for really mobile businesses but not for office/storefronts that are fixed like health care providers or manufacturers for example.
The hated ribbon is still in the new version so you won’t have employees wasting a lot of time trying to find functions (like when the ribbon first appeared in Office 2007) and in fact the tablet friendly design has made it easier to read the icons due to the spacing (much appreciated by older eyesight).
I’m still working with the preview version and testing it for standard business functions. More to come.