What's New in Microsoft Office 13?
Windows 8 is not the only radically different product coming from Microsoft. The company’s cash cow productivity suite is also getting a major revamp. Here are some of the new features you’ll find in Office 13...
Office 13: Do You Feel Lucky?
Microsoft Office 13 is slated for release this fall, along with Windows 8. But the ubiquitous office suite featuring Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, OneNote, Publisher, and Access won't have the same look and feel as the Office 2010 that's currently in use. What will it look like? You can sign up for a preview of Office 2013 and see for yourself.
After the software is released, there will be two ways to obtain Office 13. You can buy it in a box for installation on a single PC, as usual. Or, you can rent it via an Office 365 subscription, paying a monthly fee that includes licenses for up to five devices. (See my related article What is Microsoft Office 365? for more about the online version of Office.) Office 365 will sync all of your data across all of your devices. Save your files to SkyDrive and they, too, will be synced to every device. Pricing has not yet been announced.
All Office apps are getting the Metro treatment, with simplified user interfaces that are optimized for touch screens. Early reviews indicate that the touch interface is more difficult than the traditional mouse-and-keyboard method, but apparently we’re expected to get used to that on tablets and smartphones. For more about Windows 8 and the Metro interface, see Windows 8: Will You Be Pleasantly Surprised?
Only Windows 7 and 8 will support Office 13; users of earlier Windows versions will have to stick with older versions of Office or upgrade to one of these operating systems. Office 13 will support third-party apps for the first time. One such app allows you to plot a Bing map in an email message, which could be helpful when trying to arrange a meeting.
Social networks are integrated into Office 13. You can connect LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, and share Office documents to your contacts or your pages on those services. You can also share documents in live-collaboration or presentation modes.
More New Features in Office 13
Each module of Office 13 gains a number of new features, as well. Word can now import, edit, and save PDF documents. You can also embed online images and videos into Word documents, and a reader can play embedded videos. A system of gridlines will let you place objects anywhere in a document and text will flow around them. The Track Changes feature has been streamlined and cleaned up to make tracking revisions easier. Automatic bookmarking saves your place in a document and returns there when you re-open it on any device.
Excel has gotten easier for spreadsheet novices. Its new Flash fill feature recognizes patterns and automatically fills columns for you. Excel can also recommend a Pivot Table and chart for your data tables with a Quick Analysis button.
PowerPoint now has a presenter preview mode. While the audience sees only the slideshow, the presenter can look at thumbnails of all the slides and select which one to show next. An alignment grid similar to Word’s makes slide creation easier.
A lot more is new in Office 13. You can read all about it here and sign up for a preview of this new version.
Microsoft seems to be throwing all of the latest buzzwords into Office: mobile, sharing, social, cloud, Metro, etc. While some of these features may be useful to power users, it remains to be seen whether Office 13 will drive widespread adoption of the Windows 8 paradigm. With Google Docs and so many other good alternatives (see Free and Paid Microsoft Office Alternatives) Microsoft seems to be taking a rather large gamble on their future with the dual release of a new operating system and office suite, both with radical interface changes.
Are you the type to jump on every new release of Office, will you stick with what you have now, or will you go with one of the many free Office alternatives? Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 18 Jul 2012
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- What's New in Microsoft Office 13? (Posted: 18 Jul 2012)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved