Microsoft Corp is ready to launch the latest of its Office productivity suite in a keynote speech at 3pm tomorrow.

Office, which was released to manufacturing almost four weeks ago on 15 April is in its 14th incarnation aka Office 2010.

The latest release 2010 was brought forward after a ruling in August 2009 - which banned sales of Word 2007/2003 - after it was found to infringe on patents related to XML.

XML (Extensible Markup Language) is a set of rules for encoding documents electronically and is often used by businesses to tie their corporate data to Word documents, and it is this ability to read XML that led to original patent owner, i4i to sue Microsoft.

Office 2010 introduces Office Web Apps - a direct response to Google Docs - which allows users to deploy access and editing of their documents on line, either through a Windows server or a Windows Live server.

Microsoft claim that Office Web Apps will display documents in an almost identical way to how they appear in Office 2010.

However, as OWA (Office Web Apps) are so similar in functionality - commentators have led speculation that they may indeed replace Office productivity suites - especially as Facebook is introducing its own OWA sharing facility, known as

The new version - which introduces additional web functionality, will allow users to embed a Powerpoint presentation or Excel spreadsheet on the web, for example on their blog - although they will need a server either their own or Microsoft Live servers to do so.

It will also allow editting of video in Powerpoint - although you will have to have the stand-alone version to do so - which Microsoft hopes will allow users to buy the full Office 2010 suites instead of just using the Web apps online.

Finally, for mobile, Office 2010 hopes that OneNote features which allow clients to 'take a photo' out in the field and add it to their OneNote documents will convince users to purchase its Windows Phone 7 series - which comes with Office 2010 - later in the year.

Microsoft will hope, that by providing users both online and offline access will give them a fighting chance against Google Docs which remains online only for now.

Watch Microsoft's keynote speech at 3pm BST from here.