Office 2010 to hit Australia in June


Microsoft has confirmed it will launch its latest office suite in Australia to the general public in June, with businesses to get the software from May 12 and local pricing to be announced for the products later this week.

A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed the timing yesterday for the Office 2010 launch, with Sharepoint 2010 to be launched at the same time.

The software has been available in beta form for customers to test since last November, although early versions leaked to the public months before that. Redmond also made a release to manufacturing version of Office 2010 available on 17 April, continuing a cycle of regular test releases for the software.

Microsoft does not appear to have conducted a large user interface upgrade with Office 2010, although there are subtle differences between the software and the company’s previous office suite, Office 2007, which received a substantial user interface re-work compared with Office 2003 — notably, the ‘ribbon’ which dramatically simplified Office’s menu and toolbar structure.

Instead, it appears to have focused on new features such as the Social Connector option in Outlook, which helps users keep track of their contacts, as well as making it easier for users to collaborate with each other.

The company plans to release Office 2010 in a variety of editions — ranging from the basic Starter edition, which only contains basic version of Word and Excel, to Home, Student and Professional editions — and the high end Professional Plus offering, which includes all of the components of Office 2010 and is aimed at business use.

The author of this article has been testing various beta versions of Office 2010 since late 2009 and has found the software stable and feature-rich, with some subtle user interface improvements in Outlook 2010 being particularly useful.