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Microsoft unveils Office 2013 details

Changes in the new software reflect updated Web innovation, with an emphasis placed on Cloud computing, access across multiple devices and social networking. The Redmond, Wash., company has as well incorporated the square, bright-colored style of its Windows Phone 7 into Office 2013.

Though Microsoft held back on sharing prices, Ballmer did say the updated programs will be cloud-based and available through three types of subscriptions. No launch date was given, nevertheless the company said it will offer more details this fall -- likely in October, when Microsoft said it will launch Windows 8.

Office 2013, as expected, is built to work on multiple types of devices, and as a result, the software has been crafted to work via touch, a stylus, mouse or keyboard. A preview video that you can watch here shows the programs running on computers, a phone and a tablet.

Microsoft said the software will be included with ARM-based Windows 8 devices, which are typically tablets and smartphones. The company noted that that would include the Microsoft Surface, which is expected to launch in the fall.

Users will be able to access their files across different devices along with some of their preferences, just as their custom dictionary. They will as well be able to stream the programs from Windows computers when away from their own computers. Microsoft's new Office will save all documents to SkyDrive, which is the company's cloud storage service.

Along with SkyDrive, Skype is as well making a splash in Office 2013. Microsoft will be implementing the two services and rewarding users with bonuses for each. Users will get 60 minutes worth of Skype world minutes per month to call people outside of the video calling service. Microsoft will as well give subscribers an additional 20 GB of storage for their SkyDrive, which is available free with 7 GB.

Yammer, the company's $1.2-billion business social network, was as well revealed to be integrated into the suite of programs. The company said the private social network will work with SharePoint and Microsoft Dynamics.

"We are taking bold steps at Microsoft," Ballmer said, according to a company release. "The new, modern Office will deliver in a class by itself productivity and flexibility for both consumers and business clients. It is a cloud service and will fully light up when paired with Windows 8."

Users will be able to subscribe to office 365 Home Premium, built for the average consumer, Office 365 Small Business Premium, and Office 365 ProPlus, which is built for enterprise clients. Subscriptions will allow users rights to future upgrades, and users will be able to access Office on up to five devices, including Macs.

More information: Latimes