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What's New In Microsoft's Office 2013

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The next generation of Microsoft (MSFT) Office, Office 2013, unveiled at a press conference in San Francisco on Monday, finally takes Microsoft Office to the cloud.

As it looks to compete with the seamless user experience of Google's (GOOG) Web-based Google Apps, the software behemoth is taking the next step with cloud technology.

With the new Office, users can access content across multiple platforms, including touch-screen tablets, mobile, PCs and offline. A cloud-based subscription service also allows subscribers to receive regular upgrades, multiple installs, storage and 60 minutes of Skype world minutes every month.

In addition to an updated suite of the traditional business-software applications, such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint, the new software, which is said to roll out in the coming months, will include enhanced touch-based features to enable users to take notes and edit more efficiently on mobile and tablets, and an improved reading technology and a presentation feature.

"We are taking bold steps at Microsoft," said CEO Steve Ballmer at the conference. "The new, modern Office will deliver unparalleled productivity and flexibility for both consumers and business customers. It is a cloud service and will fully light-up when paired with Windows 8."

The new software also integrates social features. It incorporates Yammer, a business networking site Microsoft acquired for $1.2 billion cash at the end of June, and SharePoint.

"In my 18 years at Microsoft, I think this is the most transformational release I've worked on!" wrote Corporate Vice President of Program Management, PJ Hough, wrote on the "Office Next" blog.

Despite this announcement, shares of Microsoft only edged up 0.17% to $29.44 on Monday.

--Written by Nathalie Pierrepont in New York.

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