Microsoft unveils Office 2013, announces free consumer preview

Microsoft is touting the social, connected and tactile features of the next version of its desktop publishing software, Microsoft Office 2013, RelaxNews reports. The new Office is designed to work on desktop PCs as well as on tablets running the company’s Windows 8 operating system. The software has been enhanced with social and cloud features and supports touch (but not as well as it should says Ars Technica), stylus, mouse and keyboard input.

“We are taking bold steps at Microsoft,” Ballmer said at the press conference in San Francisco on July 16. “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.”

Office 2013 has been redesigned to incorporate elements of Microsoft’s Windows 8 Metro design aesthetic — OneNote and Lync are the first two apps to get the full “touch-first” Windows 8 Metro-look experience — and automatically saves documents in the cloud with SkyDrive……Read More

Amazon may be planning smartphone

Amazon, which began shipping a tablet computer this week, may be eyeing the smartphone market, Relaxnews reports. Citigroup said in a research note published on Thursday that it believes the Seattle-based online retail giant plans to launch a smartphone next year.

“Based on our supply chain channel checks in Asia led by Kevin Chang, Citi’s Taipei-based hardware research analyst, we believe an Amazon Smartphone will be launched in 4Q12,” Citigroup analyst Mark Mahaney said.

“We believe (Foxconn) is now jointly developing the phone with Amazon,” Mahaney said, and it will be manufactured by Hon Hai’s TMS business group, which makes Amazon’s Kindle electronic book reader and Kindle Fire tablet……Read More

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