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Word 2 to Office 365 and beyond: The good, the bad and the Ribbon

Discuss Microsoft's past and future here, Friday, 24 May, 14:00

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Live Chat Since the pioneering work of Word and Excel daddy Charles Simonyi, Microsoft has set the gold standard on productivity applications on the PC.

With the Office software suite, Microsoft built a moneymaker worth billions of dollars that has been further sustained by a network of devs who’ve reinforced the cash machine with add-ons and macros.

Where rivals have tried to beat Office, they’ve only succeeded in copying the paradigm of apps, menus and screens. The main difficulty encountered by competitors, it would appear, is in beating Office’s “must-have” factor – especially in business.

The advent of the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) model for biz types, an increase in offsite "cloud" computing as well the growth in popularity of the "as-a-service" payment option have all had a huge impact on today's office software - and the all-new access-anywhere Office 365 is no exception.

Join All-About-Microsoft blogger Mary-Jo Foley, Reg regular Tim Anderson, Reg software editor Gavin Clarke and other Reg readers on 24 May as we assess the major changes that have transformed Office and look at how the software suite could evolve further with Office 365.

We'll also take a look at Office for Windows 3.0; the Ribbon interface; Office 2013; the shift from Visual Basic and COM to HTML and Javascript in Office 365; Project Gemini's update "waves" versus continuous updates in Office 365; whether Microsoft has more to learn on licensing; and the challenge from Google.

Kick-off is 2pm BST*, 9am Eastern, or 6am Pacific on Friday, 24 May. You can pre-register in the window below. We'll be opening the doors half an hour earlier, though, in order to take your questions.

* Please note that although the CoverIT display above says that the chat begins at 1pm BST, it does in fact begin at 2pm BST as we've indicated.

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