Microsoft makes constant innovations to its Office suite; not too long ago we saw Office 2010, and now the software giant is all set to release the latest version, Microsoft Office 2013. Just a little while ago, the company unveiled a preview of the new package. So you can now get a glimpse of the updated Word, Power Point, Excel, Outlook and OneNote versions. According to Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer, Office 2013 is their ‘biggest and most ambitious Office’ yet.
I’m sure you are all well versed with the earlier iterations of MS Office so there’s nothing very surprising about the basics. Yet a few changes have been made.
With Windows 8 being touch centric it’s only natural that the latest Office version would follow suit. Computing experience for Smartphone and tablet users will be seamless and much better than ever before; like, you can just swipe your finger to scroll or turn pages, perform a pinch zoom and write with your finger or stylus. In short desktop apps and mobile devices will be unified.
Microsoft Office 2013 is also cloud ready, so that the unification of the different computing platforms can be fully taken advantage of. Now you will be able to smoothly and easily sync your desktops, laptops and mobile devices so that you can access data stored on any of these devices. Microsoft Office 2013 will be intensely integrated with SkyDrive, Microsoft’s cloud platform, and thru Skype, collaboration will be simplified greatly. Now you will be able to save your docs to SkyDrive by default, simplifying the process even further.
There is also going to be an altered interface; nothing drastic though. The icons are increased in size and spread out to leverage the bigger screen sizes, while the toolbar design is unchanged. You will also now have your name and photo displayed in the top right corner in all Office screens; in case you forget about the cloud, this will remind you!
You will also be able to link your social networking accounts like FB and LinkedIn, just as you can do now on your mobile devices. So in effect social connectors will become an area of focus within Office 2013. The company is also thinking of opening up the API for developers to enable them to include other social content too.
Though it is still unconfirmed, it is expected (if we are to believe rumours floating in the industry) that the new Office suite will be launched in a few days from today, on the 29th of January, to be precise. In fact Canadian retailer Future Shop has already started accepting pre-orders, stating that the product will be available from January 29th onwards.
Businesses have had access to the new suite for a couple of months now and some consumers have also tested the preview form. Microsoft also installed a preview version of Office 2013 RT on their Surface RT tabs.
As far as the pricing is concerned, it looks as if Microsoft is more interested in subscribers rather than outright purchasers. A mix of hearsay and speculation pegs the Standard version at $369, Pro Plus at $499, Student at $13 and home and Business at $219.
This guest post is brought to you by Lance Goodman of dishtvoffer.com