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Microsoft Office 2013 Officially Unveiled

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Microsoft has officially unveiled Office 2013, also known as Microsoft Office 15. It’s the first brand new version of the Office Suite in three years, and a preview is being released today.

Ballmer took to the stage at a Microsoft press conference to unveil the new software. Some of the software’s biggest innovations include those relating to the new direction of Windows 8, although Ballmer reassured that Office 2013 is designed to work with “current generation” hardware.  Its approach is rather different to previous versions, though. Now, the software will be linked to your Microsoft ID rather than a distinct install, to make using it across platforms much simpler.

The two clearest Windows 8 concessions in Office 2013 are the Metro-like interfaces of the suite’s constituent applications and full support for touch. That includes multi-touch gestures such as pinch to zoom. Microsoft Office vice president Kirk Koenigsberger showed off office working with a Samsung Series 7 tablet, which is available to buy right now.

All the key Office suite apps have been optimised for touch input, and support for stylus input has also been much improved. You’ll now be able to annotate on-screen directly in many situations, loosening-up the often restrictive feel of previous Office releases.

Microsoft Office 2013 is comprised of Access 2013, OneNote 2013, Outlook 2013, Publisher 2013, Excel 2013, PowerPoint 2013, Word 2013, InfoPath Designer and Filter 2013 and Lync 2013.

Microsoft Office 2013 will be sold as an “Office 365 subscription”, which will also allow access to Office on other platforms as well as multiple computers. A sub comes in four flavours. Home Premium lets you access the basic Office apps on up to five devices. Small Business allows 10 users with five installs each. ProPlus enables 25 users, while Enterprise also adds SharePoint Online and Lync Online.

We'll be back with more on Office 2013 soon.

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