06/16/2010 11:40 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Microsoft Launches Office 2010 in New York City

Yesterday was the official launch of Microsoft Office 2010. The launch comes on the heels of the long-awaited Microsoft Kinect announcement, at E3. The launch party took place at The Glass Houses - in NYC. The theme of the event was orange in celebration of the new Office logo. Microsoft employees were wearing orange converse (for the men) and orange bracelets (for the women).  The evening would not be a party without the blood orange martinis which were very tasty.

The highlight of the night was being able to speak with a handful of early Microsoft Office 2010 customers. These are individuals who participated in a pilot program. They were not only happy to discuss their Office 2010 experience but were excited to demonstrate what they loved most about the suite.

Sarah and her husband Aaron live in California. They purchased a house and decided to remodel their kitchen. OneNote helped Sarah and Aaron manage the remodel by being able to - track bids, research materials, communicate with contractors and keep everything organized in one place.

Aaress is an owner of a popular tennis news site--On the Baseline. She also runs a small public relations firm. Aaress uses OneNote to manage her very busy life. She loves the availability of the Office Web Apps and SkyDrive.

Vivian and her husband own a resort called Alta Crystal Resort outside of Mt. Rainier National Park. Vivian uses Word and Publisher to prepare fliers for parties and guests. Since connectivity to the Internet is problematic at best she is dependent on the offline features of Office - which Vivian swears by.

I had the opportunity to speak with Chris Capossela, Senior Vice President of Information Worker Product Management Group. Like many of the Microsoft employees I spoke with last night -- Chris was very excited about what Office 2010 will offer not only individuals but the enterprise as well. Chris directed me to the Office 2010 campaign site - Make It Great. This is where customers give their real life experiences with the Office suite. One of the features that I found to be most compelling is the SkyDrive and its integration with the Office Web Apps - which includes Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote.

SkyDrive is 25GB of free file storage and what we have done is add the Office Web Apps to the SkyDrive, itself. If you store a document in the SkyDrive - you can view that document and it will look exactly the way it did in the local desktop suite. This allows you to do light-weight edits of your document right in the browser.

-Chris Capossela, Senior Vice President

I have been using Microsoft Office 2010 for the better part of the day and I am enjoying the suite. I have been using office products since 95 -- I have used other productivity suites but they always fall short.  I have used Star Office and Google apps but I always gravitate back to Office.

2010 comes in three flavors - Home and Student, Home and Business and Professional. My favorite application is OneNote. I am using it to research and organize my notes for my next post. I have to say that Microsoft did not disappoint and has exceeded my expectations. MAC users will not be left out - in speaking with Capossela - he explains that MAC Office 2011 will be coming soon.