Microsoft today launched a new version of its Office suite tailored for tablets and other touch screen devices. Office 2013 promises to be much more exciting, with apps, SkyDrive, Skype, touch support and a host of better designed and more exciting features.
You can check out the the preview version of the new Office suite here. The software giant hasn't revealed when the new suite will go on sale or how much it will cost, but the details should be out by October this year. You will need a Microsoft account to sign and download it though.
Like all applications in Microsoft Office, Word, Excel and PowerPoint have got some major changes and here's a quick look at some key features in each application. We'll have a detailed review later on.
• The Word-PDF dilemma: Ever tried opening a PDF document in Word? Its a design nightmare since tables, charts, and fonts begin running into one another with no regard for formatting and design. Microsoft promises that the new Word will ensure that the PDF formatting will remain as is.
• Reply to edit comments: This is a feature that was already available for Google Docs, it seems Microsoft is just catching up. Users can now reply to edit comments on their documents and thus have a conversation as they edit. Yaaaaaaaaawn. Something new please.
Flash Fill: The new Excel will include a new way to recognise data, and has the ability to auto-complete the remaining data, with no formulas or macros required. Sounds cool.
Better visualizations: Long suffering and bored Excel users will now get a variety of choices to better present/represent their data. They can also format charts, change titles, layouts, and play with a bunch of other chart elements.
The social network angle: So now you can share selected portions of your spreadsheets on the web by simply embedding them on your social network pages. You can also embed video into Word documents, or share a document directly on to Facebook. This is quite a cool feature but we're not sure about feasibility. Will Word kill the Facebook notes? Doubt it.
Slide Zoom This feature means that users can direct their audience’s attention to a particular point of a slide, by zooming in on a diagram, chart, or graphic etc.This seems to be a pretty cool feature, especially if you happen to have your slideshow on a tablet or mobile device.
Comments This option is now available for PowerPoint as well. A big boon for everyone who's had the horror of presenting Slideshows at Work or class with too many people adding their comments all at the same time. Since users can share slides online before hand, multiple users can word on the document at the same time. Once again, playing catch to Google.
More once we check out the new suite.