Microsoft has finally released a preview version of its upcoming Office 2013 productivity suite and the apps clearly show signs of the Metro influence all over them, which is a good thing by all means.
MS Office 2013 Debuts Cleaner Looking, Tablet-Friendly Office Apps Meant For Windows 8
Windows 8 Release Preview users now have some more new software toys to play with — Microsoft has just released the Office 2013 Preview for general consumption. The new versions of Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, etc. all show strong signs of the Metro UI influence and features that enable the apps to support touch-based tablets.
The new applications are integrally tied in to Office 365 — Microsoft’s cloud-based office service that allows you to access your documents from anywhere with an Internet connection. It is much like Google Docs but has the added advantage of being integrated in to the ever popular offline Office apps. Just like the Google Drive integration, Office 365 is integrated with your SkyDrive account as long as the same Live ID is used to log in to both services. Whilst talking about the new Office, Steve Ballmer said “It’s still a product, but focused on Office as a service.”
Also known by its pre-release name Office 15, it brings upgrades to Microsoft’s One Note and Access apps as well. And despite the new looks and Metro feel, these will run on Windows 7 as well as on Windows 8. Windows XP and Windows Vista users will not be able to upgrade to Office 2013 — as is only to be expected. According to Ballmer, Microsoft is upgrade its entire product line to fall in place with Windows 8 and Office is their flagship application. One that has a major presence in the lives of most of its customers.
Highlights of the new features include better collaboration tools, online image handling, direct PDF import and of course — integration with the cloud as mentioned earlier.
The Microsoft Office 2013 Preview is available online for free download and you get to choose between consumer and enterprise. Download here — http://www.microsoft.com/office/preview/en
And here’s the introductory video posted by Microsoft: