Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on July 16, unveiled the customer preview of the new Microsoft Office, dubbed "Office 2013," which delivers Office as a cloud service while harnessing innovations enabled by Windows 8.
The Office 2013 features an intuitive design that works beautifully with touch, stylus, mouse or keyboard across new Windows devices, including tablets.
"We are taking bold steps at Microsoft," Ballmer said at the press conference in San Francisco. "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."
Ballmer also discussed three new Office 365 subscription services --when available, each new subscription offer will include the new 2013 editions of the Office applications -- Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher and Access.
In addition, subscribers will receive future rights to version upgrades as well as per-use rights across up to five PCs or Macs and mobile devices.
The three new editions will be the following:
- Office 365 Home Premium designed for families and consumers. This service also includes an additional 20 GB of SkyDrive storage and 60 minutes of Skype world minutes per month.
- Office 365 Small Business Premium designed for small businesses. This service also includes business-grade email, shared calendars, website tools and HD webconferencing.
- Office 365 ProPlus designed for enterprise customers who want advanced business capabilities and the flexibility to deploy and manage in the cloud.
Here is what Office on Windows 8 offers:
- Touch. Office responds to touch as naturally as it does to keyboard and mouse. Swipe your finger across the screen or pinch and zoom to read your documents and presentations. Author new content and access features with the touch of a finger.
- Inking. Use a stylus to create content, take notes and access features. Handwrite email responses and convert them automatically to text. Use your stylus as a laser pointer when presenting. Color your content and erase your mistakes with ease.
- New Windows 8 applications. OneNote and Lync represent the first new Windows 8 style applications for Office. These applications are designed to deliver touch-first experiences on a tablet. A new radial menu in OneNote makes it easy to access features with your finger.
- Included in Windows RT. Office Home and Student 2013 RT, which contains new versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote applications, will be included on ARM-based Windows 8 devices, including Microsoft Surface.
Office 2013 in the Cloud brings the following intergrated features:
- SkyDrive. Office saves documents to SkyDrive by default, so your content is always available across your tablet, PC and phone. Your documents are also available offline and sync when you reconnect.
- Roaming. Once signed in to Office, your personalized settings, including your most recently used files, templates and even your custom dictionary, roam with you across virtually all of your devices. Office even remembers where you last left off and brings you right back to that spot in a single click.
- Office on Demand. With a subscription, you can access Office even when you are away from your PC by streaming full-featured applications to an Internet-connected Windows-based PC.
"Office on Demand streams and launches a temporary copy of your personalized Office application without installing it permanently, and when you close the application, it and the files you were working on are gone," Microsoft explains.
- New subscription services. The new Office is available as a cloud-based subscription service. As subscribers, consumers automatically get future upgrades in addition to exciting cloud services including Skype world minutes and extra SkyDrive storage. Subscribers receive multiple installs for everyone in the family and across their devices.
Your content and applications should be available to you wherever you are and on whatever device you are using in a way that is consistent and familiar to you. YOU should be front and center in the Office experience. For example, "Word and PowerPoint make it easy to get right back into your work by remembering where you left off in each document or presentation. So, if you didn't have time to finish reviewing an important document before you had to leave work, Word will remember what paragraph you were last reading/editing when you open that document on another machine. PowerPoint remembers the slide you were on so you don't have to go hunting for that last edit in a long deck," Microsoft explained.
According to Microsoft, all you have to do is "sign-in" and you will be able to roam your personal settings, which are stored in the cloud, synced with SkyDrive (the default file save location for Office 2013), SharePoint, and your local drive.
As soon as you sign in on any device and launch one of the Office apps, the new Start screen will show you right away that you are in your Office. With this release, recently used files are managed in the cloud and follow you wherever you go. For example, "when you launch Word, it will show you the list of the documents you've accessed recently on this computer or on any other connected device. If you have a favorite template, you can pin that to the Start Place, and Office will roam with you across devices so you always have that template available to you," explains Microsoft.
All these settings are stored in the cloud, synced with SkyDrive, SharePoint, and your local drive, and roam with you. "With the capabilities that we've built into our roaming settings service, we're able to create new settings that will roam with you across any connected device."
These features extend to your mobile device as well. For example, your Windows Phone will show your recent files for one-touch access while you are on the go. "You can also put a personal touch on your Office experience with your profile picture and by selecting a classy yet subtle decoration. This will decorate the frame of your Office applications to suit your personality. When sharing a PC with friends or family, this also helps make it clear at a glance who is signed into Office."
"We've tried to make it easy to sign in so you can use the same Microsoft account that you're already using with other Microsoft services, including SkyDrive, Hotmail, XBox, Office.com and soon, Windows 8. If your business or school is a customer of Office365, you can also use that account to connect to your work world while away from your desk.
When you are signed in, we add your SkyDrive as your preferred save location. Of course you can choose to save to your computer or to another location if you prefer but for all the reasons in this post today, we think that saving to the cloud is much better," Microsoft adds.
Office 2013 as Social
- Yammer delivers a secure, private social network for businesses. You can sign up for free and begin using social networking instantly. Yammer offers integration with SharePoint and Microsoft Dynamics.
- Stay connected. Follow people, teams, documents and sites in SharePoint. View and embed pictures, videos and Office content in your activity feeds to stay current and update your colleagues.
- People Card. Have an integrated view of your contacts everywhere in Office. The People Card includes presence information complete with pictures, status updates, contact information and activity feeds from Facebook and LinkedIn accounts.
- Skype. The new Office comes with Skype. When you subscribe, you get 60 minutes of Skype world minutes every month. Integrate Skype contacts into Lync and call or instant message anyone on Skype.
Office Unlocks New Scenarios
- Digital note-taking. Keep your notes handy in the cloud and across multiple devices with OneNote. Use what feels most natural to you -- take notes with touch, pen or keyboard, or use them together and switch easily back and forth.
- Reading and markup. The Read Mode in Word provides a modern and easy-to-navigate reading experience that automatically adjusts for large and small screens. Zoom in and out of content, stream videos within documents, view revision marks and use touch to turn pages.
- Meetings. PowerPoint features a new Presenter View that privately shows your current and upcoming slides, presentation time, and speaker notes in a single glance. While presenting, you can zoom, mark up and navigate your slides with touch and stylus. Lync includes multiparty HD video with presentations, shared OneNote notebooks and a virtual whiteboard for collaborative brainstorming.
- Eighty-two-inch touch-enabled displays. Conduct more engaging meetings, presentations and lessons, whether in person or virtually, with these multitouch and stylus-enabled displays from Perceptive Pixel.
Office on the Web: From here, you can use the Office Web Apps to access, author, and share Office documents from nearly any device that includes a web browser.
You'll be able to try the Office Web Applications at Office.com and SkyDrive.com and it bring the following improvements:
- Far richer editing - the Word Web App has an all new page layout with much greater formatting capabilities. PowerPoint now supports creating transitions and animations. Excel has dramatically improved chart rendering and an all-new Interactive View that brings the power of Excel to any table of data on the web. OneNote has better navigation and search.
- Web Apps wherever you go - the Web Apps are now available on a broader set of devices, browsers and sites. They work great on the latest browsers, including new "touch-friendly" UI controls. Our mobile interface has been redesigned to take advantage of today's smartphone capabilities. The Web Apps are integrated with more services you use all the time, like Exchange, Lync, and Facebook.
- Collaboration and sharing - you can now co-author in all four Web Apps (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote). We've also integrated commenting and sharing into the Web Apps hosted on SkyDrive and Office 365.
Click-2-Run (C2R), a virtualization technology, is a vast improvement over the installation and management experiences of prior versions. In this release, "we are expanding our use of C2R installation and streaming technology. Most importantly, C2R will now be the method of installation for all of our retail products and available to customers using Office 365 editions for business, government and education. This will dramatically simplify Office deployment for organizations," explained Microsoft.
Office the way you want it
We'll deliver Office on more devices than we ever have in the past including smartphones, tablets, alongside PCs and laptops. "It doesn't matter if you have your hands on a PC, a Mac, a touch-enabled Windows tablet, or a mobile phone; Office takes full advantage of your hardware to give you the best possible experience and access to your work wherever you go," Microsoft said.
When you purchase Office, "you're no longer buying software dedicated to a particular piece of hardware. We've made a bunch of investments in this version that really change the way that you get Office. For example, when you purchase the product you will land in the Management Place of Office.com. This is the place for you to go to install Office on your PC or Mac, update your account information, learn about additional entitlements you may receive with your subscription (e.g. extra SkyDrive storage) and manage your account," Microsoft explained.
As part of the Customer Preview, "we announced that you'll be able to sign up for an Office subscription, which'll ensure that wherever you go and whatever Windows device you are on, the latest and greatest version of Office will be there for you," Microsoft adds.
Microsoft says the full lineup of offerings and pricing plans will be announced in the fall.
Here is the on-demand webcast:
In the videos below see how the new Office gives you the flexibility to focus on what is important:
Microsoft also announced OneNote MX application specifically designed for the new Windows 8 operating system.
Similar to OneNote 2013, which comes as part of the new preview of Microsoft's productivity suite, the OneNote MX let users easily take notes and save them to the cloud, for fast access wherever they go.
The new OneNote MX Preview has been reimagined for Windows 8, and comes with support for both touch screens and mouse and keyboard.
Notes will be synced fast with the cloud and between computers, so that people can access them across devices, regardless of their location.
Some of the main features of the application include:
- Make lists --- Quickly write up to-do lists with check boxes.
- Draw and write --- Use your device's pen to draw in your notes as you would on paper.
- Take pictures --- Take photos with your device's camera to put in your notes.
- Customize formatting --- Organize your notes with tables, bullets, colors, and more.
- Integrated search --- OneNote works with the Windows 8 search charm, so you can always find the notes you're looking for.
- Snap view --- Need to reference another app or website while taking notes? OneNote can snap to the side of your screen so you can use both apps at the same time
You can download OneNote MX from Windows Store.