The new version comes as the first upgrade to popular suite in 3 years. The current release is the customer preview version of the new suite Office 2013 aka Office 15, and this release is touted to feature many more improvements.
Microsoft Office 2013 New Features
Office 2013 boasts a refreshed design, heavily inspired from the Metro User Interface and optimized mainly for touch-based gestures. The software has been mainly designed to work in concert with a vast array of services that Microsoft acquired in recent months example, Skype.
Skype, the popular video chatting service is now built into Office 2013 and therefore a part of the suite. The service will be offering a user 60 minutes of Skype world minutes every month, after he signs up for a subscription to Office (Office 365 Home Premium version). Yammer — a private social network for businesses, recently purchased by Microsoft will also function in conjunction with SharePoint and Microsoft Dynamics.
Office 2013 offers new subscription services and is available as a cloud-based subscription service.
That said; let us in brief discuss changes being brought to Office applications:
Rather than storing documents on computer, users will get the option to share them online with their Facebook friends. Microsoft Word will unify with social networking services such as Facebook and Flickr. The unification will make it easier for them to pull their favorite pictures straight from the sites and insert them into a doc, instead of having them to download manually on their computer. A feature called Resume Reading will also be seen in Word as well as PowerPoint. It will allow the app users pick up exactly where they last left off and resume reading or editing.
It will also be possible to view videos from popular video-sharing website such as YouTube, live, in Word documents. A simple click on a YouTube video inserted into your document will hide the rest of the screen and play the video. Clicking outside of the video player will stop playback and take you back to the document for editing.
Microsoft Excel 2013
Excel 2013 will perform the same old operations of presenting data and creating charts, but in more intuitive way. It will feature more advanced calculations with the integration of Arabic numerals.
Microsoft PowerPoint 2013
PowerPoint will feature improved templates and transition effects. It will include an auto-bookmarking feature too. Besides, the new chart engine access feature will let PowerPoint users pick charts from Excel 2013 worksheets and insert them as slides in their PowerPoint presentations.
Microsoft Office Outlook 2013
Better management and less crowded navigation will be the main highlights of Microsoft Office Outlook 2013. For users’ convenience, Microsoft has added ‘Inline replies’ features that will help them reply to emails in a single click. Moreover, a Weather Bar feature has also been added to Outlook 2013 for allowing users to check the weather before scheduling or accepting invites for new meetings.
Apart from this, Office 2013’s automatic integration with SkyDrive will allow Office users to sync their files in cloud using their Microsoft accounts and update documents, presentations and spreadsheets automatically. This will ensure that users access the most recent version of any file, no matter on what device they are.
The ribbon user interface too has undergone a makeover and now includes more space between icons to ease touch control.
Microsoft is also planning to come up with fanciful Marketplace in order to provide Office users a resource to find tools for expanding the software capabilities and customizing the work the way they need to.
Here are screen shots of its other applications. Click on the images to see larger versions.
How to download and use Microsoft Office 2013
If you have Microsoft ID, you can get your hands on the customer preview of Office 2013. All you need to do is:
- Visit office.com/preview and click on the ‘Signup’ tab to download the customer preview version.
- Sign in with your Microsoft ID.
- Then, wait a few minutes for the setup to unfold, and download Office to the device of your choice.
Office 2013 offline direct download links
If you do not have a Microsoft ID, you can download the setups by visiting the links mentioned here. But to start using it and storing your files on the cloud, you will be required to sign in with your Microsoft Account. I have a Microsoft Account, but I preferred to install it using the direct download link.
When you start your Office 2013 installation, you will be asked to click on Install Now, if you prefer a express installation or Customize, if you wish to customize your install.
Once you have made your choice, the installation will go on smoothly.
After the installation is completed, you will see the Office application tiles on your Windows 8 start screen.
As mentioned earlier, saving files to SkyDrive is the default – and not the C drive. It is also moving to a subscription-based model where your Office files will be tied to your Microsoft ID account. You will be able to manage all your Office files via your “My Office” page.
Microsoft Office Store
The new Office Store will offer many free and paid apps for download to enhance the usability and functionality of Office 2013. You can also download this document from Microsoft, which talks of what is new in Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2013.
Please note that Office 2013 will run on Windows 7 and the Windows 8 only; it does not support Windows Vista and earlier builds of Windows like Windows XP, etc.