NEW FEATURES: The new version of Office — Microsoft's suite of word processing, spreadsheet and email programs — will sport touch-based controls and emphasize Internet storage.
SIGNIFICANCE: It reflects an industry-wide shift away from the company's strengths in desktop and laptop computers. The addition of touch-based controls will enable Office to extend its franchise into the rapidly growing tablet computer market.
AVAILABILITY: A preview version of the new Office suite is being made available online. Microsoft Corp. isn't saying when the software will go on sale or what the price will be.