Next Version of Microsoft Office Coming in 2010 (Apr. 15, 2009) — Microsoft announced that its Office 2010 will reach consumers next year and ready to send to manufacturers in the first half of next year, though not likely in conjunction with the Windows 7 operating system.

microsoft-office-logoFrom there, it can take six weeks to four months or more for the programs to reach PC users, said Chris Capossela, a senior vice president in the Microsoft group.

Office 2010 — previously known by the code name “Office 14” — will include slimmed-down versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote that let people create and edit documents in a Web browser. Consumers will have access to a free, ad-supported version, and Capossela said the company is still hammering out what to charge businesses that want a version without ads.

Microsoft plans to let hundreds of thousands of people test a technical preview of the new Office portfolio starting in the third quarter of 2009, Capossela said.

Windows 7, the successor to Windows Vista, is scheduled to reach consumers by the end of January 2010. Microsoft also said a new version of its Exchange e-mail server will be available for purchase in the second half of 2009.

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