Today Microsoft held a press conference to announce and show off the New Office 2013 and it looks really good. Steve Ballmer described the new version as “thinks cloud first” which furthers the integration with SkyDrive by allowing users to save documents and settings in cloud storage. We took some time to list out the components they talked about and the new features they discussed.
PowerPoint looked very nice and they showed complete touch support and stylus support too. They also showed off the “Presentation Mode” which shows more information for the presenter so they can see things such as what is coming next and choose how they are interacting with the presentation.
Outlook follows the same Metro Style look and feel but is also completely touch centric. With a new Quick Actions tab that creates an overlay of buttons to use. There is also a new feature called “Peeks” where you can hover over a section like Calendar a mini but fully interactive calendar will pop up on the screen.
Developer integration has been added to office allowing developers to easily integrate other applications into Office and the demoed this by showing off Bing integration.
I am a huge One Note user and suggest everyone use it. It was nice to see the new screens for One Note and it looked gorgeous. It too is also completely touch friendly but can be used with a stylus. There is a new Metro Style Application That was created and it too supports a stylus. The really awesome feature they showed off was a new “Radial Menu” which allows you all the options you need in a nice circular fashion. Finally the new One Note showed off the ability to use the camera built into the machine where a picture is taken and immediately added to the note.
When Showing off the new Microsoft Word Microsoft Explained that new to Office is a logging in feature which backs up all your setting and documents to SkyDrive. New to Microsoft Word is what is called a “Reading Mode” which puts the document in full screen but also will resize itself based on the size of the device being used. Documents can be shared to Blogs, Facebook or other places after you finish editing them. The nice thing about using SkyDrive integration with your Office Documents was not only are updates and settings synced between devices but even the last location you were editing can be recalled.
Using SharePoint you can actually follow documents that have been posted and even like them. You can even use @mentions and add comments to the documents stored on the SharePoint server. While hovering over the users that have also commented on a document you can view their People Card information which can include stuff from Facebook and LinkedIn.
Now Office will have Skype integration built into the Contact Card and even there presence information will be included. You can look at the card and initiate a Skype call right from Outlook.
Excel is not the most exciting application to talk about however it was pretty cool to see an new feature called “Flash Fill” where it will automatically fill out information in multiple lines based on information you start typing ahead of it.
Lync is the enterprise version of Messenger and Microsoft showed off the ability to have a group meeting which exists today however there where some new features such as full touch support and the ability for many people to annotate a document at the same time.
Office 2013 looks radically different then any previous version and you can really see how they have made this new version touch friendly which will really work well on the new Surface Tablets.