Microsoft officially launches Office Online site

Site gives users access to templates, clip art, and other information

Microsoft Corp. launched Office Online, an updated version of its Tools on the Web site, on Tuesday.

The site, at http://www.office.microsoft.com, gives users access to templates, clip art and other information designed to help them use Office products more effectively, Microsoft said. Direct links will be available from the task panes in Office 2003 applications, allowing users to access the information without leaving the program they are working on. Office 2003 is due to be launched in October.

The Office Online site is also available through a browser for users of previous Office versions, Microsoft said in a statement.

Around 25 million unique users visit Tools on the Web each month, generating half a billion hits, and Microsoft hopes the new site will increase this dramatically, it said. There are 400 million Office users worldwide, Microsoft said.

There are now more than 100 staff members working on the site, which will be updated daily based on customer feedback, the company said.

A subsection of the site, Microsoft Marketplace, will give information about Office-related products developed by Microsoft partner companies.

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