Building in touch, collaboration, social networking and cloud computing capabilities, Microsoft announced the launch of Office 2013.

At a press conference in San Francisco, Microsoft CEO, Mr Steve Ballmer, unwrapped the new official version of Microsoft Office. Touting this as “the most ambitious release of Office that the company has ever done,” Mr Balmer demonstrated some of the new features in Office 2013.

Full line-up of offerings

While the full line-up of offerings and pricing plans will be announced later this year, Mr Ballmer discussed three new Office 365 subscription services. 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 and also as per-use rights across up to five PCs or Macs and mobile devices. This next version features an intuitive design that works with touch capabilities, stylus, mouse or keyboard across new Windows devices, including tablets. Also, users do not need Windows 8 to run Office 2013. Further, the Office 2013 comes with social networking features such as Yammer and communication tools such as Skype built in.

Leveraging cloud computing capabilities, the new Office will be available as a subscription service. As subscribers, consumers automatically get future upgrades in addition to Skype world minutes and extra SkyDrive storage space.

Other new features include an integrated view of ‘contacts’ everywhere in Office. The People Card software includes syncing in information and activity feeds from Facebook and LinkedIn.

Subscribers receive multiple installs for everyone in the family and across their devices. It will be bundled in with new Windows 8 applications like OneNote and Lync for enterprise use.

venkatesh.ganesh@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on July 17, 2012)
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