I'm heading to New York City today for the Office 2010 + SharePoint 2010 launch event featuring Microsoft business division president Stephen Elop. If you want to watch the event live, Microsoft is hosting a virtual launch event online. And I'll be blogging here throughout the day as necessary as well.

6:32 am. I'm on the Acela heading to New York.

7:00 am. The New York Times has an interesting article this morning about Office 2010. Like most of the mainstream coverage I’ve seen so far, it focuses perhaps a bit too much on the online component of this wave of products. (Even the name of the article, Revamped Microsoft Office Will Be Free on the Web, is a bit of a stretch.) But if you actually read it, there is some interesting data and, finally, a confirmation that Google Docs, so far at least, has done absolutely nothing to affect Office's usage share.

A host of businesses are chipping away at Microsoft either by offering free versions or by recommending to clients that they buy fewer copies of Office ... Google, Adobe and smaller companies like Zoho have been giving away Web-based apps that do much the same thing [as Office]. But the rival products have hardly made a dent in the sales of Office — a product used by 500 million people.

Over the last three years, Microsoft's share of the office software market has remained static at 94 percent, according to the research firm Gartner. Adobe ranks second in office software revenue with almost 4 percent of the market, leaving scraps for about eight other companies. Microsoft's business software group brought in $19 billion last year.

About 25 million people have signed up for Google Apps, the company’s online suite of software that is similar to Microsoft’s business products. [Left unsaid: Almost all of them use the free version. --Paul]

According to analysts, Microsoft still has little to worry about.

Exactly. And while that may change in the future, Microsoft is at least positioning itself for that future with OWA. I'm more inclined to pursue whatever online services Microsoft offers in this space--and I'm a heavy user of Google services like Gmail, Calendar, and PicasaWeb (the latter of which I pay for annually)--simply because it's superior.

7:21 am. A few more takes on today's news...

Microsoft updates Office, vies online with Google - Reuters

Microsoft gets more aggressive with free software - Associated Press

Microsoft aims to sell business on Office 2010 (Q&A) - CNET

Microsoft Predicts Fastest-Ever Adoption of New Office Software - Bloomberg

Microsoft Office 2010 takes aim at Google Docs - BBC

As you can see, most are focusing on the free web-based stuff.

9:13 am. I love the Amtrak, even though the (free) Wi-Fi and cell phone coverage are always spotty between Boston and New York. I use this time to get real writing done, and while I can't say what I've been working on quite yet, you'll find out soon enough. I've actually taken Boston-Washington D.C. roundtrips on Amtrak just to get writing done, since it's such a great way to focus and not get distracted. (This was pre-Wi-Fi, but you could always just stay offline, of course.) Anyway... I should be getting into NYC around 9:40 and then I need to head over to NBC Studios at 30 Rock for the event. The weather is lousy, so that should be interesting.

I'm not sure who will be there exactly, I know Mary Jo Foley (ZD) and Bob Stein (ActiveWin) are going.

10:39 am. And I'm here. This is the studio where they film Saturday Night Live every week. Pretty cool. (And smaller than expected.)


Crappy iPhone photo of the SNL set (somewhat covered up) at NBC Studios, from the balconey.

10:54 am. Event should be starting soon. Relevant notes to follow...

Some presentation facts...

Mobile phones will overtake PCs as the most common web access device worldwide by 2013.

Roughly 1/3 of all online users in the US access the Internet through a mobile device.

40 percent of working hours are spent managing information, on average, 60 percent of the time using it.

Teleworkers work more than 2 hours more per week than office workers, on average. (Working from home, I bet I double the average.)

Over 8 million people have downloaded Office 2010 beta products.

SharePoint is a $5.6 billion business now, will be $6.7 billion in CY2012.

80 percent of IT managers are at least trialing cloud computing initiatives.

56 percent of corporate bloggers think blogging has helped them establish themselves in the industry.

Work interruptions cost $650 billion a year in the US to the economy.

67 percent of the global population goes online to visit social networks and blogs.

63 million people will telecommute in the US by 2016.

87 percent of US workers worked from home in the past month.

11:00 am

Running late as usual ... :)

11:15 am. Here we go...

Notes

80 percent of enterprises are using Microsoft Office

Wolfe Van Dijk from KPN is onstage - she had the best quips in the intro video, actually. Sound quality in here is horrible, which doesn't make a lot of sense when you think about what happens in here every week. XP Pro + Office 2003 - not as efficient as we like - not able to take advantage of IT advancements, not collaborating - now we are investing in our own business productivity - "Smart working, better living" - restore balance, SharePoint 2010, Exchange 2010, Office 2010 help them take a leap forward - a taste of the future - others have "Office 2010 envy." Cute :)

Stephen Elop, president Microsoft business division

Incredibly important day for Microsoft. His first Office launch. Using SharePoint technology to broadcast live around the world.

Moment of fundamental change - obvious economic stuff - "Millennial generation" arriving - collaboration regardless of location - implications for all of us - employees expect same techs from home in the office - safe, secure, interconnected - more options for mobile work, with over 1 billion people working outside traditional offices now - social networking capabilities are expected by employees - deal with the huge sea of info out there - challenge and an opportunity

Office 2010, SharePoint, Visio, Project 2010 now available to business customers around the world.

8.6 million people are using the 2010 set of products through the beta, over 3x the pickup of Office 2007.

Significant gains in productivity, reduced costs. Today, Forrester commissioned studies, interviews with customers, assessed the economic impact. Productivity gains of 2 work weeks per year for everyone in their organization by moving from Office 2007 to 2010. $13.8 million in savings over three years per representative organization. A 300 percent ROI over three years.

Carting out the partners.

Del Monte, GE, serious companies. - Names are moving by too quickly to note them.

Mark, GE - huge influence of consumer techs on IT - immediacy, intuitiveness, highly mobile capabilities

David, Del Monte - speed to market key - ribbon is a huge benefit, reduces learning curve

Experiences around deploying Office 2010

Going from PowerPoint 2003 to 2010, huge time savings per presentation - same with Outlook, huge improvements - new capabilities in Excel - building collaborative community on top of SharePoint - OneNote is the killer app in education, with synchronous editing of notes, and the web apps, work anywhere at any time - huge advantage for students to use the same tools now that they will use in the workforce

One feature that makes a difference - Outlook social connector - File tab "cockpit" for the document - OneNote 2010 and ability to co-edit - integration of all the presence capabilities across the board - co-authoring of documents - Conversation view in Outlook 2010 - consistent interfaces and integration - "paintbrush" in each app ( not sure what he means by that. Format Painter? )

Chris Capposela - Demo

Best experience across PC, phone, browser - have the cloud on your terms

Outlook - Calendar view in the email preview pane on calendar invites - integrated voice mail (Exchange 2010) with auto-convert to text - Conversation view - Cleanup button for Conversations - Ignore button for Conversations (deletes existing and any new messages in runaway threads) - Quick Steps (macros) - Mail Tips - Outlook Social Connector connects OL to Facebook, MySpace, etc. also SharePoint - Use OL as your social hub

SharePoint - twitter-style feeds - status feed - do Facebook inside your own company - Silverlight-based organization exploration - Auto-emails sent once a week that suggest colleagues based on the emails and posts you make - Massive investments in Search using FAST technology, integrates expertise results (where ads go in Google search results) - Office Web Apps integration - Number one requested feature: Offline use of SharePoint content via SharePoint Workspace (formerly Groove)

Excel - visualize data - data bars were in Office 2007, but in 2010 there are in-cell charts called Sparklines for trends - Power Pivot, new to 2010, work with huge inmemory data sets, sort and filter in real time, can work with 100 million rows, incredibly fast - can use it to build BI dashboards that are interactive - Slicers: visual dashboard of data - can share via SharePoint or SharePoint Online - edit in the browser with Excel Web App

PowerPoint - work with photos and videos - BackStage view (across apps) - Broadcast Slide Show - Phone version

Announce that today, the Office Mobile 2010 apps are available - demoing on a Windows Phone 7 device - works with Broadcast Slide Show in mobile browser - Office hub - One Note - Documents - SharePoint document library (this was in my Windows Phone screenshot gallery the other day, btw.)

Stephen Elop back

Appears to be wrapping up.

Some developer talk around the Visual Studio integration stuff. SharePoint apps will triple by 2015. Video around the SharePoint developer opportunity.

And we're done here. Hopefully all these people won't be in the press room :)

But wait, there's more...

Chris C. is doing a Q & A now...

June 15th on Office, Project, and Visio retail (consumer) availability. (Told you so!) Also the Office Web Apps live on SkyDrive. A new version of Hotmail is coming too, he said, but will be rolled out to users over time. "Rolling thunder."

Huge interest in Windows 7. Business customers are looking at both Windows 7 and Office 2010, will be deployed "very rapidly" together.

Office Mobile on Windows Mobile vs. Windows Phone: What are the differences? Office Mobile is available for WM 6.5 today on the Windows Marketplace for Mobile. These apps will be updated for WP7 but no news around any new capabilities.

Developer stuff. Touched on but not explored fully. A lot of work around SharePoint 2010 being great for developers. Visual Studio integration ("F5 support") is huge. SharePoint can also connect to LOB systems. SAP, JD Edwards, homegrown apps. etc. Make SP the end user "face" to your backend apps.

How much functionality in SharePoint out of the box? 4 or 5 workloads. Collaboration. My Site capability (mini Facebook-like site). BI dashboards. Document workflow. Lots of stuff right out of the box.

Small businesses? Key thing is that small businesses don't have an IT staff. So we think there is an opportunity to experience this technology in the cloud (SharePoint Online, Exchange Online). Microsoft will do it on their behalf, subscribing to software as a service. Same richness, with the complexity taken out.