We have a real treat for you this week: a sneak peek at Microsoft Office 2010. Although Redmond doesn't have plans to release its mega productivity suite for more than half a year, but Microsoft did invite us to take a spin around the technical preview of upcoming versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. We've passed the goods along in a First Look video, a slideshow of screenshots, and a First Take review. Pay special attention to the 'conversation view' planned for Outlook, which operates similarly to Gmail's threaded conversations. We'd also like to direct your gaze to the "backstage view," the new envisioning of Microsoft's file menu.
In other news, Google announced last week its intention to base an entire operating system around its Chrome browser. Two characteristics define it at this early stage--the fact that it will be Web-based, and that it will be released for free. Chrome OS will be integrated into some Netbook computers in 2010, optimizing Web access for users, according to Google. Read all about it here, and why Google says it stepped out in this direction.