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Microsoft Shows Off New Office Mobile Apps at BUILD 2013

Microsoft Office is one of the tech giant’s flagship software suites, widely utilized by enterprises and casual users alike. The company has kept the program relevant by devising new platforms for its use, such as the Microsoft Office 365 mobile apps that provide smartphones and tablets with on-the-go versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint. At the recent BUILD 2013 conference, Microsoft showed off some features of new Office apps that will also be mobile- and touch screen-friendly, according to PCWorld.

Businesses using the professional versions of Office may want to invest in the most current Microsoft Office training programs so that their workers will be fully equipped to use the latest versions of the software upon its release.

The news source reported that the new apps are styled after the new Metro interface seen in the current iterations of Windows and Internet Explorer. Given the current emphasis on mobile functionality, a more touch screen-optimized version of Office could help encourage increased adoption of Windows 8-powered tablets, which have not fared as well as their Apple and Android rivals of late.

Jensen Harris, Microsoft’s director of program management for the Windows User Experience Team, briefly demonstrated the revamped PowerPoint app and appeared to impress the BUILD audience. He stated, “This has all of the same transitions, the same graphic power, the same file-format capabilities. This is actual, running PowerPoint, except it’s running as a Windows modern app.”

According to ZDNet, the new Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote apps, which have been code-named “Gemini,” will not be available until 2014. Some speculated that they might be released in October 2013, around the same time as the debut of Windows 8.1, although Microsoft claims a 2014 release has always been its intention.

“Metro-style” versions of Microsoft OneNote and Lync are already available, according to the source. Additionally, the company also plans to release similar iterations of programs such as Publisher and Visio.

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