According to Microsoft, there are no less than two main categories of functionality when it comes down to integration with the next version of the Office System. Instant messaging (IM) applications can hook into Office 2010 only at a basic level, or go deeper and deliver presence integration. Microsoft has made available for download a document which outlines “Presence Integration between IM Applications and Microsoft Office 2010.” The resource is offered for free via the Microsoft Download Center, along with another document titled: Office Communicator 2007: Presence Integration Between IM Applications and 2007 Microsoft Office System.

“With basic IM and Presence integration, a third party can use IM applications to leverage Presence and integrate IM functionality in Office applications within the following: Outlook 2010, SharePoint Server 2010, Word 2010, Microsoft Excel 2010 and Microsoft Powerpoint 2010,” the company explained.

Of course, at the same time, third-party developers can go deeper than just basic IM and Presence Integration. In this regard, instant messaging applications can integrate with Office 2010 components for search, contacts and even conferencing features.

“In addition to basic IM and Presence integration with the Microsoft Office 2010, a third party can integrate with advanced features including: enhanced presence, multi-party IM conversation, Office Ribbon menu entry points, contextual data passed with “Reply with Instant Message” and “Reply all with Instant Message” options, conferencing, call integration, Quick Search, Quick Contacts, Video Call, and share by IM and Application Sharing in the Backstage,” the company added.

Microsoft is laboring to wrap up Office 2010, which has already reached the Release Candidate stage. Although a specific general availability deadline wasn’t announced, speculation indicates that Office 2010 will drop on June 15th, 2010. The software giant has only confirmed officially that customers will be able to buy Office 2010 in June.

Office 2010 Beta 14.0.4536.1000 is available for download here.

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