Microsoft recently announced a new application on their Office Blog to help Office users discover the full functionality of programs like Excel, PowerPoint and Word. The company is using Facebook Connect to make the learning process an interactive game. Ribbon Hero is an add-on for Vista and Windows 7, and Microsoft also seems to be using this opportunity to promote the Office 2010 Beta.
Ribbon Hero is designed to help Excel, PowerPoint and Word users become more confident when using the programs, as well as explore the subtle nuances and hidden features that many casual users may not know exist. The game challenges friends to see who is the most adept at the Office suite.
Once users have connected with Facebook, they’ll be able to invite friends to participate in a series of tasks to earn points in challenges and measure their progress against friends and anyone participating in Ribbon Hero; once reaching certain milestones within the challenge, users also have the option of sharing their progress through status updates. Those wanting to challenge friends will need to be running Vista or later with Microsoft Office 2007 or later, but in order to achieve a perfect score, they’ll have to download the Office 2010 Beta.
The ribbon Hero application is just the latest nod from software giant Microsoft that it is interested in tapping into the connectivity of Facebook. Late last year, we saw its success with the Xbox Live integration, and it will be interesting to see how Microsoft continues to incorporate Facebook in its product offerings.