It has now been confirmed that the next version of Microsoft Office will indeed be launching in June next year.
It was expected that the shipping date announcement would have come during PDC 2009, however here it comes a couple of weeks later. The beta was made available for free for early testers -- much like what Microsoft did with Windows 7.
In an interview with Betanews, Janice Kapner a company communications senior director spilled some beans about what's to come with one of Microsoft's next most eagerly awaited products, Office Web Apps.
The Office Web Apps were never expected to carry the same functionality as the desktop applications, and from their conversation it seems that you might not get much more functionality than you get today with Google Docs and Zoho, being given just enough features so that you can write a "quick letter" and share it someone, rather than write a 50-page term paper.
Besides the free online edition of Microsoft Office, there is another free feature-limited version of Office for those on a budget. The new Starter edition of Office 2010 is to be a ad-supported version of Office which will be only come bundled with new computers.