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Microsoft expected to unveil new Office suite

Microsoft's Executive Officer Steve Ballmer introduces Microsoft's new tablet SURFACE during the press conference on June 18, 2012 in Hollywood, Calif.

Jeremy Hobson: Microsoft has called a mystery news conference today. And the speculation is that the company will unveil new features for its software suite Office 15.

As our senior business correspondent Bob Moon reports, Microsoft is trying hard to stay ahead
of its rivals.


Bob Moon: Microsoft has taken notice of the competition from Google Docs, a cloud-based alternative that's snatched away a growing number of users. The software giant recently launched its own cloud-based response.

Microsoft ad: Unlike Google Docs, Office Web Apps keeps the formatting and style of your Office documents just the way you want them.

Then there's the iPad, which runs Apple's Office-style apps, but not Microsoft Office. There will be Office apps on Microsoft's own upcoming line of tablets, but analysts have been left to guess whether it'll be offered for the iPad.

Charles King is with the research firm Pund-IT.

Charles King: You look at the number of not just consumers, but business users that are fans of the iPad, and it would make great sense from a business perspective for Microsoft to embrace those customers.

Microsoft's toughest competition, though, could be Microsoft itself, as analyst Jack Gold sees it:

Jack Gold: The bigger risk is they don't make the new version attractive enough for people to upgrade, and so they just stay with what they've got.

For Microsoft, it's a game of "Can you top this?" -- played on several different fronts.

I'm Bob Moon for Marketplace.

About the author

Bob Moon is Marketplace’s senior business correspondent, based in Los Angeles.

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