Office 2010 will be hitting next month and with it will come GPU acceleration of your productivity software. While we won't be seeing HDR effects in your Word processor, Office 2010 will harness some of your GPU to make the graphical effects less intensive on the CPU.
AMD blogged about this very topic yesterday, pointing out the system requirements of Office 2010 lists this: Use of graphics hardware acceleration requires DirectX 9.0c compatible graphics card with 64 MB or higher video memory.
With that, you can expect the following whiz-bang hotness from Office 2010:
- Transform images into compelling, vibrant visuals using new and improved picture editing features such as color saturation and temperature, brightness and contrast, and advanced cropping and background removal tools, along with artistic filters such as blur, paintbrush, and watercolor.
- New slide transitions and animation effects that look similar to graphics you’d see on TV.
- Dozens of additional SmartArt layouts to create many types of graphics such as organization charts, lists, and picture diagrams.
- The ability to turn presentations into high-quality videos with narration to share with virtually anyone through e-mail, via the Web, or on DVD.
- Embed and edit video files directly in PowerPoint 2010. Easily trim your video to show only relevant sections and apply a variety of video styles and effects—such as reflections, bevels, and 3-D rotation
While the new effects may not be groundbreaking, any time that the system can offload some of the work from the CPU onto the GPU (if it's better for the job) is a good thing.
EDIT: Not sure why I got a thumbs down, but at what point did MS start dealing with graphic editing tools more sophisticated than paint? Admittedly, we still use 2k3 where I work, but there is no real editing of images in there. Mostly resizing and whatnot just to jam it into a PowerPoint. Traditionally, most graphic work has been Adobe's turf..