Microsoft has announced that Office 2010, which was released to businesses yesterday, will be available to consumers on June 15.

As well as a few new features inside Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint and other Office applications, Microsoft is giving users of Office 2010 an online version of the suite.

Office Web Apps are lightweight versions of Microsoft's word processing, spreadsheet and presentation tools designed to fend off online-only office suites such as Google Docs and Zoho Office.

But while Office Web Apps shine at maintaining document formatting that competing, third-party web-based apps tend to struggle with, they're unlikely to impress anyone who has enjoyed the rich features in Google's or Zoho's offerings.

Office 2010 Backstage View

Still, we can probably thank the online competition for the significant declines in Office suite prices: three years ago, the Standard Edition, containing Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook, debuted with a suggested retail price of £330; the price for Office 2010 Home and Business, which includes those four applications plus the note-taking program OneNote, now costs as little as £199.

Amazon UK started taking pre-orders for Office 2010 at the end of April. The online retailer is currently listing a three-user Home and Student version for £99, a single-user version of Microsoft Office 2010 Home and Business for £199 and the Professional version for £399.

See also:

Microsoft Office 2010 review

Microsoft Office 2010 Web Apps review