What’s up with the Business Launch? A conversation with the engineering leader behind Office

We’re excited to announce that Office 2010 is available to business customers starting today!  In addition to our virtual launch events, you can find more information below from a conversation that Takeshi Numoto had with Antoine Leblond, the engineering leader behind Office 2010.  In it, he shares some of his insights into Office 2010 from an engineering perspective.

T: We’ve been talking about Office 2010 for over a year. Why are businesses going to tune into our “launch” on May 12?

A: Candidly, we all know that businesses have more productivity options now more than any other time in history. However, despite the hype, more than 90 million businesses rely on the Office applications to get work done. According to the 2010 CIO survey, 63% of respondents predict that IT department efforts will focus on improving end-user productivity, and 58% will focus on lowering operating costs. Office 2010 was built to help IT folks achieve these ends. The “launch” day, in my mind, is really a way to demonstrate that we’re delivering a solution that truly meets the needs of today’s businesses and into the future.

T: So it’s a day to showcase that we’ve listened to customers and built a product around their needs, that’s great. What do businesses really get with the Office 2010?

A: The proper answer would be to say that businesses get a reliable, secure and familiar suite that will help them innovate and grow. However, I’ll leave that marketing speak to you. 🙂 I’ve spoken with numerous customers and they consistently say, ‘I need to save money, but not at the expense of worker productivity.’ We’ve been listening to customers and enhancing the tools they use every day to get work done for more than 20 years. We know that people today are working differently than a few years ago and expect their software to work the way they do. Think about the increased scenarios around collaboration, social networks, mobility, or use of multimedia in documents, just to name a few. So what businesses are getting are productivity tools that allow them to adapt to these various market trends including things like the move to the cloud on their own terms and with a consistent user experience they have trusted for decades.

T: How do you feel we’re addressing real business pain points with the new iteration of Office?

A: At the heart of Office 2010 is the idea that people need a productivity solution that allows them to work – in whatever capacity – from wherever they are. So when I hear you guys in marketing position Office 2010 as the “best experience across the PC, phone and browser,” I smile because that was exactly the underpinning assumption we used to build the product. With features like configurable Ribbon UI across apps, conversation view and “ignore” feature in Outlook, and improved interoperability for document formats, we put our customers in control of their productivity experience. So I feel comfortable saying that Office 2010 addresses the increasingly diverse workforce, gives businesses a means to improve productivity while controlling costs, and helps companies large and small better manage information overload.

T: In closing, tell me something I didn’t know.

A: Did you know that every month for 7 straight months one million people have downloaded Office 2010 beta? This, as you’ve said in the past, is the best software beta in our history, and showcases the demand for the enhanced value of Office 2010.

We hope you’ll tune in today to the virtual event to hear first-hand from some of our customers why they are investing in Office 2010 and the new 2010 series of products.


Comments (14)

  1. Jeff25 says:

    Can’t attend launch event online as the page won’t connect.  Is this what we can expect from Office 2010 a program that doesn’t work?

  2. Kelby [MSFT] says:

    The issues with the site page have been resolved. You can view the live webcast here: http://sharepoint.microsoft.com/2010launch/en-us/Pages/home.aspx . If you continue having issues, please let me know @kelbyj

  3. sam says:

    Each version of Office from 95 onwards up to 2003 was more productive than the previous.

    After 2002(3) something major changed in MS

    In 2007 ….

    a) Office was no longer considered as a “Development” platform…. greed took over and we had people singing .net .net  .net

    (The developer edition of office was abandoned and we had a more expensive VS/VSTO…etc)

    b) Productivity took a back seat and fluff took priority over substance (More shades of blue…shapes that could glow….but a files that would take longer to open, close, save, …charts that took too long to render….a broken macro recorder ….a long list)

    c) Control (IT) took priority over business user needs

    (A non productive and inflexible UI designed through Data Driven Engineering but without common sense and with no rollback option)

    e) A version full of bugs (2007) got a partial fix in 2010…. A Network folder got a new and more expensive name ….Sharepoint…

    f)More blogs, send a smile/frown to give the feeling of being “connected” to “real” users

  4. charles says:

    Where is Business Contact Manager RTM.

  5. MS says:

    What’s with the multilanguage packs for other languages (e.g. Croatian)? They are still not available to either partners, Technet or MSDN subscribers?

  6. GoodThings2Life says:


    I disagree with your post-2007 remarks. On the contrary, I find it much more productive to use 2007 editions than I ever found the older versions.

    The introduction of the Ribbon interface made using the software much easier than it’s ever been. Oh sure, it was a change, and I had to pay attention and relearn things, BUT… in the process I actually LEARNED new things and discovered capabilities I didn’t even knew existed.

    Office 2010 is an extension of that, and it brings back some of the customization we had before– UI customization, etc.– and more importantly, just because you don’t use functionality doesn’t mean others don’t find it worthwhile. A lot of what you described as unimportant is completely relevant to business users with SharePoint technologies.

  7. javid says:

    is’t any roadshow in Malaysia??

  8. Giraldo says:

    I am not happy with the activation being locked to the computer. I currently have a desktop and a laptop and intend to buy a retail boxed copy so I get 2 licenses (one to use on a desktop and one on a laptop). But after about a year, I plan to replace my desktop machine with a new one. Does this mean I have to buy a license again for my new desktop (activation will fail on my new desktop because hardware will be different). Why can’t I transfer licensing from my old desktop which I am replacing with the new desktop? Something like Microsoft’s activation server invalidating the old machine and validating the new one? For this reason, I will buying only a single product key card for now. Hopefully, license transfer will be available in the future.

  9. Ted Way [MSFT] says:


    If you’re allowed to use Office on a desktop and a portable computer, then if you replace a desktop, you’re allowed to use Office on the new desktop.

    From a technology standpoint, you’re correct that activation binds the key and the hardware.  If you’re in a situation where you’ve replaced the hardware, then please contact Microsoft support, explain your situation, and they will help you.

    You will not need to buy another license.

    If you have any further questions about activation, please feel free to discuss it in the activation forum:


  10. dbh says:

    Giraldo just make sure you by the Full Boxed Retail version of Office and not the OEM version that way your not tied to a single machine and can uninstall Office 2010 from one computer and place it on a new machine if you upgrade later.

    Be carefull not to buy the new Office 2010 Product Key Cards (PKC) available through retail channels unless you only need to use Office on 1 device forever and never need to transfer the license, these new PKC are licensed for 1 device and are non-transferable.

    Here are your options from:



        Product Key Cards:

    For use on new, preloaded PCs only

    1 license / 1 device / non-transferable

    Activates preloaded Office SKUs

    Does not include media

        Traditional Discs:

    H&S: 1 license up to 3 devices within same household*

    H&B and Pro: 1 license / up to 2 devices for same user

    Portable device rights

    License is transferable to another PC

    Includes media for use on uncovered PCs (PCs that are not preloaded with Office) and for backup


    The best value for end users in the long run is no doubt the full packaged product (traditional discs), more installs and a transferable license sounds pretty good to me.  

    Unless of course your rarely use Office in which case the new stripped down versions Office 2010 Starter and Office Web Apps.

  11. Giraldo says:

    Thank you for the replies. Guess I will purchase retail copy then. 🙂

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  13. Brian U says:

    I was fortunate enough to have won a full version of Office 2010 pro when I attended CA World last week.  After doing a little homework and reading in several places that Office Pro 2010 was RTM with BCM, I felt confident enough to install it and upgrade my current version of Office 2007.  Imagine my surprise when I finished installing and realized nothing had been changed with BCM 2007 except that it was now inaccessible.  OK, Now What???  Any suggestions?  Is my version of 2007 qualified for the free upgrade to 2010 and therefore I need only wait until June 15 or will I be forced to purchase an upgrade from 2010 Pro to Pro Plus?  If the latter, what ever happened to BCM Shipping with 2010 Pro?   I'm in quite a pickle here and unable to do business at the moment.  Any thoughts?  

  14. Anonymous says:

    Office 2010 is publically available today!  Everyone on the Office engineering team is very excited

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