Microsoft has just unveiled Office Remote, a new app that lets users control Word, Excel, and PowerPoint presentations with any Windows Phone 8 device. It's basically SmartGlass for the company's productivity suite, and is a joint effort between Microsoft Research and the Office team. “We want to make sure that we continue to create tools that deliver the best possible experiences to presenters and audiences,” says Darren Edge of Microsoft Research. “The world is constantly evolving, though, and presentations need to evolve with it."

Your presentations just got easier

Using Office Remote, you can jump between PowerPoint slides and control an on-screen "laser pointer" with your finger. The app also lets users scroll through Word documents or quickly pull up a specific section, and you're able to navigate Excel spreadsheets in much the same way. The app is available beginning today and works with all versions of Office 2013 except for Office 2013 RT. You'll need to install a small software "add-in" on your computer before getting started, and a Bluetooth-compatible PC is also required since that's how the two devices communicate.

Microsoft says Office Remote represents only the first step in reaching a "diverse society of devices." This, the company says, occurs when "you use not only the right device for the task at hand, but, potentially, also use multiple devices together to make it easier to achieve your goals." We'll have to see where the collaborative effort goes, but at least today, achieving a flawless presentation with Office just got a bit easier for Windows Phone users.