As has been the recent trend, with every new version of Windows, there comes a new Microsoft office. So, a few months before Windows 8 comes to the market, Microsoft is about to launch the fifteenth edition of Microsoft Office. For now, you can get yourself a consumer preview which provides a perfunctory taste of the real deal that will come out in a few months.
Microsoft Office for 2013
Perhaps the most frequently used app of the Office suite, Word has a few changes under its belt in this edition. On starting Word, you encounter some templates- making a change or selection in one will reflect in other gadgets using Word because of cloud support. After the intro, you can completely do away with Ribbon element of the app by either minimizing or removing the menu options and status icons at the bottom. It has a ‘read mode’ to do away with all the tools you don’t need while reading. A very important and useful tool of this version of Word is the PDF editing tool. With the help of Microsoft Lync service, you can present you documents. There is also a neat feature to add videos to your documents.
Excel is a very important app, especially for professionals who need a handy app to compose and edit spreadsheets on the go. A very important and completely new feature of this edition is the ‘Quick Analysis lens’ which will help you pretty up your charts, auto predicts what you are writing, saving you a lot of time. The Quick Analysis Lens will analyze your format, create charts, create better tables (and by ‘better’ I mean visually). Even if you don’t want to add sparklines or analyze your data in any way, the tool helps you simply add the columns.
Of course, as the other apps got such neat upgrades, PowerPoint could not be far behind, could it? The 2013 Office provides a crisp PowerPoint interface which is at par with the rest of the pack. Microsoft has not gone out of its way to make the app more useful, but has sort of built on the pre-existing features. This evolutions is certainly worth applause because the integrated cloud support, the image and video capabilities (that you can add from a whole array of sources quickly) are some of the simple, yet innovative features of PowerPoint 2013.
Microsoft has given Outlook 2013 a fresh outlook- pardon the pun. ‘Crisp features that do not make a mess’ seems to be the motto this year. Most of the changes have gone on behind the figurative curtains, but even visually it is a richer experience. Google Apps, Hotmails of Exchange accounts are now fully integrated with the Outlook. The Calendar utility seems to have grabbed the spotlight, integrating well with the app.
When the Office suite will be officially launched, it will have full Metro app functionality, with all its core apps having a Metro counterpart. The most hyped Metro App of Office 15 is probably OneNote. ‘Evernote meets Microsoft’ would be an appropriate way to describe it what with its uncomplicated user interface, keeping tabs on all your virtual bookmarks and notes on all your devices (again, thanks to our trusty friend, the Cloud).
A nice user interface, a good integration of metro style apps, reinforcing the previously known features and even a cloud-based ‘Office on Demand’ feature – it all works in favor of Office 2013. However, much of its success will depend on how Windows 8, it’s vessel OS, is received in the market.