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Microsoft, which faces mounting competition and price pressure focused on its Office desktop productivity suite, is set to release the first beta of an Office upgrade.
Due later this year, the beta will feature far greater use of XML and Web services for reporting, analyzing, importing and exporting information—particularly in Outlook and Excel, Steven Sinofsky, senior vice president for Office, in Redmond, Wash., told eWeek.
According to Microsoft's Sinofsky, the company plans to continue to innovate and add value to Office. That, he said, will result in greater productivity gains for users. "While we have started adding e-mail, calendaring and desktop management information in Outlook, that is going to be the No. 1 area where we are investing and innovating with Office," he said.
Making "organizational intelligence"—where XML is used to find and analyze a customer's key information—available to Outlook is a key advancement Microsoft wants to make to the product, Sinofsky said. While Smart Tags are integral to this strategy, the next level of XML support will center on a server housing a vast amount of XML information, such as a day's worth of sales data or reservations, and then having tools such as Excel and Outlook able to report or analyze the information, Sinofsky said.
The article continues...
News source: eWeek
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