Microsoft is Mixing Social and SaaS

Microsoft’s MS Office Suite is one of the oldest and most used software in the industry. Many of us spend our days in front of the suite, even people who don’t work in an office still has a use for at least Microsoft Word.

Last May, Microsoft provided industry people with a sneak peek of their prototypes of their new Microsoft Office product, and it’s a refreshing and bold step in a new direction.

As Mr. Ballmer unveiled Office 2013 and Office 365 as a way of teasing customers of their next release. One of the features they emphasized is Cloud support for the tablet-ready products, and they also boasted of a modern and appealing look.

According to GM of Microsoft Office Labs Planning Design, Chris Pratley, the aim of the new Office suite is to serve as “Your” office, instead of the “Machine’s” office. Basically, their new cloud-based approach allows users to synchronize their office with any device they own since the files and data are all stored in the cloud.

This an interesting – albeit not entirely new – concept. It can make life easier for people who travel with a multitude of computing and storage devices, especially those who hate the hassle of emailing documents to their own devices just so they’ll be able to work on their files from different places and gadgets. The underlying principle is that Office 365 will let users work on their files from anywhere, whether they are using a desktop, a portable, or a mobile computing device.

Additionally, the new Office also has a wide variety of “social” function, which includes Facebook-like functions such as being able to connect, follow, and share stuff with different people, a free business-oriented private social network called Yammer, and Skype support that gives users 60 minutes of Skype world minutes every month.

Microsoft says that the difference between Office 365 and its predecessors is that unlike the old office, which is basically just a productivity software installed on a desktop or laptop computer, Office 365 is an online service that provides shared calendars, email, instant messaging, web conferencing, internal team sites, and even a public website for your business, all wrapped up in one neat little suite that can be accessed from almost any internet-enabled device.

To get an idea of how Office 365 looks, you can check out the short teaser video provided by Microsoft.

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