Introducing Windows 8
Introducing Windows 8
28/01/2013 18:55 | By Paul Lamkin, senior editor, MSN Tech

Microsoft Office 2013 available now

New Office 365 suite taps into the power of Windows 8


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Welcome to Office 2013

Microsoft Office 2013 is now available. It was estimated that the software giant would unleash the latest iteration of its Office package in the first quarter of this year but the January release date has come as a surprise to many. But there's no need for alarm - MSN Tech has all the details on Office 2013 aka Office 365.

What's in a name?

Quite a lot actually as the latest Office suite comes in an array of shapes and sizes including: Office Home & Student 2013 & RT, Office Home & Business 2013, Office Standard 2013, Office Professional Plus 2013, Office 365 University, Office 365 Home Premium, Office 365 Small Business Premium, Office 365 Midsize Business and Office 365 Enterprise & Government.

The difference between Office 2013 and Office 365 is essentially their functionalities. Office 2013 is the package of office applications that you already know and love - Word, Excel, PowerPoint and so on - Office 365 is the subscription based packages that sit alongside and support the platform. Essentially, you'll be able to buy (or download) whatever version of Office 2013 suits your needs or simply subscribe to an Office 365 package if that's more your style.

Office 2013 Ballmer (© Getty)

Confused?

Well don't be. Although the consumer and business offerings are more complex and varied than in previous Office versions, it is now much easier to get access to the applications and services that you want and in the quantity that you require, than ever before.

Take for example Office 365 Home Premium:

A single subscription to Office 365 Home Premium covers the entire household.  While you use a laptop, your daughter can use the PC in the den, and your son can use a tablet.  You can each sign-in with your individual Microsoft accounts using your settings and accessing your documents, but you still need just one subscription to get:

  • All the Office applications: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Access, and Publisher.
  • Ability to use Office on up to 5 PCs or Macs shared among all users in the home. Subscribers also have flexibility to change their 5 devices at any time, and full featured Office applications are available for temporary use on any PC.
  • Nearly 3 times the amount of SkyDrive storage with an additional 20GB over the 7GB you get for free.
  • 60 minutes of Skype world calling per month to keep in touch with family anywhere.
  • Premium licenses that are always up-to-date with latest new features and services released regularly. With the new Office, new capabilities will be added multiple times per year.

Pricing

There are many different prices for the many different packages on offer. Check out online retailers for a full breakdown. A quick heads up, Office 2013 Professional will set you back £398, Home & Student is £100 and a Home Premium 365 subscription is £80.

Office 2013 (© Microsoft)

What's new?

Office 2013, as you'd expect, has been built with Windows 8 in mind. It's designed to be equally as easy to control with a mouse as it is your finger and is intended to be as much at home on a Windows 8 powered tablet as it is on a fully fledged desktop PC.

“We are taking bold steps at Microsoft,” said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. “The new, modern Office will deliver unparalleled productivity and flexibility for both consumers and business customers. It is a cloud service and will fully light-up when paired with Windows 8.”

New features include 'touch everywhere' for intuitive control, Inking for stylus-based note taking and new apps include OneNote and Lync, which Microsoft says "deliver touch-first experiences on a tablet".

With Office 2013 you'll get access to SkyDrive for cloud-based file-fun, a roaming feature that remembers your personal settings, Office on Demand for browser-based Office-action, Yammer for social sharing, as well as integrated Skype.

Word up

Word has been revamped with a raft of funky new features including Read Mode with text reflow, Object Zoom for easy viewing of tables, chart and pictures, Reply Comment for real time tracking, Simplified Sharing with better SkyDrive integration and Present Online for browser-powered collaboration.

Excelsior

Spreadsheet buffs will be pleased to hear that Excel 2013 has had a polish and comes out shining with new functions such as Flash Fill for easy formatting, a range of new analysis tools and easy social sharing with Facebook and the gang.

A better Outlook

Outlook 2013 also packs some hefty new tech including Exchange ActiveSync Support, Social Connectors, Weather Bar, Fast Filters and Context Commands.

'Appy days

Microsoft will also be offering web-based versions of the traditional Office apps. These are free, stripped down versions of the full Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote apps and are suitable viewing documents and bit of light editing.

Which one to get?

Now you're all clued up on Office 2013, all that's left to decide is which version to buy. Luckily, there's a handy chart to help you out....

Office 2013 buyers guide (© Microsoft)

Microsoft Office 2013 is available now from the likes of John Lewis.

18Comments
29/01/2013 13:25
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It will probably be available for torrent downloading soon, wait, let me check, yep, it is. :D

ps. I haven't downloaded it Bill Gates & never will so no need to sue me, OpenOffice is open-source & is a lot better & it's FREE!!!
30/01/2013 01:23
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Wow I can't wait to get to work now
28/06/2013 17:40
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I have Office 365/2013 Professional and saw no reason to disbelieve the hype but I cannot interface with the communications systems of the various companies I do work for. Which means everything is taking at least twice as long. Do the upgrades in Windows8.1/Blue address these issues, incidentally my work colleagues use various versions of Exchange Servers. If it does not where can I get the software for windows 7 and Office 2010 to downgrade so I can work properly. I do not feel I should have to pay for these after paying out for 8 and 2013.
28/04/2013 18:02
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bought in about 4 months ago, at the start of the year and I can't seem to down load it. Whats the matter with the down load. keeps telling me that I have to set up an account, and when I try, it says that you're already have an account. You have xbox live. whats up 
11/02/2013 17:20
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Do we benefits like Skydrive storage and Skype credit during the trial period also?
31/01/2013 08:58
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Three programs called "P" - wow, that makes it easy
29/01/2013 12:48
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i hope they are going to have a 3 year trial period before the official launch ,,, that gives the customers time to put all the faults right for them ,,,cowboy outfit ,,,
14/03/2013 22:11
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We purchased Microsoft Home & Student. We only got a card with a product key, With the trial edition expiring tomorrow, we cant get this to work. the one we purchesed
30/01/2013 02:29
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i hear that a company in japan are producing an operating system to replace microsoft ,,, should be out by the beginning of 2014 ,,,so at last there is hope for the computer industry ,,,it is about time that these useless good for nothing money grabbing gates cowboys were sent packing ,,,what a breath of fresh air ,,, no more microsilly ,,,
30/01/2013 02:35
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bill money grabbing gates has got his foot in the door at apple now ,,, i wonder how long before their products are flawed with problems ,,, bet they are already setting up the helplines at £48 a throw ,,,,i wonder what built in bugs he will come up with there to line his corrupt pockets ,,,
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