Microsoft has officially announced Office 2010 along with the release of the Public Beta of Exchange 2010. Exchange 2010 (final version) will become available in the second half of 2009, where as Office 2010, Office Web Applications, SharePoint Server 2010, Visio 2010 and Project 2010 will enter a technical preview in the third quarter of this year and will be released to manufacturing in the first half of 2010.
The Web Applications will be browser based applications that will use AJAX but will provide additional features if Silverlight is installed. Word, PowerPoint, Excel and the likes will be available as part of Office Web Applications and are expected to be released as both free ad supported versions as well as paid plans. Office Web Applications will be available through Office Live for consumers.
Some of the new features in Exchange 2010, as told by Chris Capossela, senior vice president of Microsoft’s Information Worker Product Management, are:
Among the new benefits that help people save time and money, Exchange 2010 introduces a personal e-mail archive to not only address compliance and regulatory needs by making mail easier to manage and search across the organization, but which frees up space on production servers and improves performance. Customers can lower costs by replacing their traditional voice mail system with Exchange 2010’s unified messaging solution that now provides text previews of voice mail messages so users may act upon them accordingly, directly from their mailbox. It also introduces new capabilities through Outlook 2010 that combine related messages into a single conversation with the added option to remove oneself from irrelevant e-mail threads. Another addition is the new Mail Tips feature, which will warn users from making embarrassing missteps before they hit send on problem e-mails — such as accidentally e-mailing a big distribution list or sending e-mail when a recipient is out of office, not to mention reducing extra steps and calls to the helpdesk. Those are features I’m sure we can all appreciate.
… Exchange 2010 also integrates Office Outlook Web Access with Office Communicator Web Access for a unified browser-based client that is now accessible through Safari and Firefox in addition to Internet Explorer.