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Microsoft is officially introducing Office 2010 today at the company's Worldwide Partners Conference. But there's already a good deal of information about the latest version of Microsoft's office suite floating around the web, thanks to TechCrunch, istartedsomething, and a Google Cached version of the Office 2010 page that went online a little early. So here's what we know:

Web apps

For the first time, Office will include online versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote. What's more, they're free. Sure, these web apps won't offer all the bells and whistles that you get with the full desktop versions, but Microsoft finally has an answer to Google Docs, Zoho Docs, and other online office suites. The company's previous strategy had essentially to give desktop Office users some online storage and collaboration tools. But nothing fights free like free.

The web apps work with Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari.

Desktop apps

The desktop applications have also received a slew of updates, although for some reason Microsoft still thinks the ribbon UI is a good idea. Desktop application users will be able to publish documents to the web or save them to the desktop. Here are some of the other highlights:
  • Word 2010 now lets multiple users edit a document simultaneously
  • Enhanced copy and paste function lets you paste screenshots into Word documents, and preview paste jobs
  • Outlook 2010 uses the same ribbon interface as other Office apps, an email conversation view, and improved search features
  • PowerPoint 2010 includes improved photo editing tools and new transitions
Mobile apps

The Windows Mobile versions of Office applications have also been updated. Outlook Mobile now includes the conversation email view available in the desktop version. There's also a mobile document viewer that lets you open files stored on a server from a mobile device... including Blackberry and iPhone devices.

[via downloadsquad]