Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Microsoft Releases Office 2013


Microsoft launched Office 2013 and Office 365!  Today we’ll be taking a look at the pricing options available for these products, and a few interesting features.  For a full breakdown of what’s new in Office 2013, check out Microsoft’s article on the subject.

First, let’s take a look at the pricing of Office 2013.
Office Home & Student 2013 (1 Licensed Install)
Office Home and Business 2013 (1 Licensed Install)
  • Includes: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook
  • Cost: $219.99
Office Professional 2013 (1 Licensed Install)
  • Includes: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, Access
  • Cost: $399.99

If you are not wanting the entire package, there are multiple options available.
  • Cost: $109.99
  • Edit PDF Documents using Microsoft Word, change the content, save them out as Word Documents or as PDF Documents again.
  • Add Online Video: Insert videos from online sources that readers can watch while reading the document.
  • Layout options appears as soon as you insert an image
  • Alignment Guides: Make it easy to line up items, charts, photos etc. (think Publisher lite)
  • Reader View: Makes your document open more like an e-book, hiding toolbars but allowing you to read as you will, and then still modify the document if you need.
  • Double click charts and images in reader view to make them larger to view.
  • Simple Mark-up: Shows where comments will be, along with who made the comment, and contact them directly without leaving MS Word, all within the comment column that appears in the Mark-up View
  • Cost: $109.99
  • Flash Fill will search for patterns in data and will complete full entries.
  • Quick analysis will add color and meaning based on conditional formatting, or sparklines (which are like mini graphs)
  • Live preview as you choose from the various formats.
  • Recommended Charts: Allows Excel to recommend charts based on the data you’ve inserted.
  • Once a chart is inserted, you’ll get the formatting button right away, where you can then edit chart information, color pallets, formats and more.  This is probably one of the most interesting aspects of Excel.
  • Cost: $109.99
  • Default aspect ratio is widescreen (16:9)
  • Smart Guides allow you to align graphics and intuitively help objects line up.
  • Master Level Guides are color coded, fixed guides that you set while in the Slide Master View.  While working in normal view, you’ll still see the alignments, to help align content across multiple slides.
  • Motion paths now show you a “ghost” image of where the object will end up, rather than red and green arrows which you have to guess where your actual item will be.
  • Presenter View will allow you to see your notes, change font size, zoom in on specific areas of the presentation, and view and move between slides easily.
  • Auto Extend: automatically applies settings to match a projector or another monitor.
  • Give feedback and comment from inside PowerPoint for collaboration.
  • Sharing: Now allows you to grant only read, or edit capabilities based on a link you send to others wishing to view your presentation.
  • The Page Curl transition is now available, so your slide transition can look like a page in a book getting flipped over.
  • Cost: $69.99
  • Export snapshots from notebooks, or an entire notebook as a PDF.
  • Full page view will hide the OneNote interface (useful if working on a laptop)
  • Tables have been changed, add color shading and designate header rows, sort data just like in Excel.
  • Embed Excel files by using the dialog box (you must have Excel 2013 installed for this to work).
  • Embed Visio 2013 images/diagrams as well (assuming you have Visio 2013 installed)
  • Lync 2013 can be used to create a new meeting, and add notes for everyone to work from.
  • Created to work in touchscreen mode, makes commands larger and allows “Draw With Touch”
  • “Send to OneNote” to send screenshots , other documents, reminders to OneNote
  • Cost: $109.99
  • Cleaner interface
  • Glimpse calendar and to do lists with the “peek” view if you do not want to open the full view.
  • Works with Sharepoint
  • Tasks sync between Outlook and Outlook.com
  • Weather is included as a bar above the calendar view and is available for up to 5 cities.
  • Cost: $109.99
  • Images are placed in a “scratch” area off to the side for your use by drag+dropping to your page.
  • Swap images by dragging an image from the scratch area into an area with pink outline.
  • Picture options allow you to format the picture with traditional options, previewing them by mousing over the options.
  • New text effects include additional reflections and more.
  • Cost: $109.99
  • Build an access App in 60 seconds that you can then share with colleagues.
  • Access will work on the back end to create tables and search various pieces of information for you.
  • Related items will show multiple rows of information, or summarize the views by field.

Now let’s take a look at Office 365. This program allows up to 5 PCs (or Mac’s) to have updated versions of Microsoft Office (That means when Office 2015 comes out, your update will already be paid), as well as 20 gigabytes of SkyDrive storage, 60 minutes of Skype calling each month for the next (you guessed it) 365 days.  Essentially, the idea is that you could be working from your home computer on a paper, save it to the Skydrive, then go to work and pick up where you left off, on an entirely different machine, even if that machine does not have Office installed.  This is called Office On Demand, and basically, it streams the actual Office application (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) to whatever computer you’re working from, rather than only being on one machine.  This is not part of the 5 computer limit, it’s a temporary version of the application that you’re able to use as you need it (hence, On Demand).  It’s also great that Microsoft will include updates to your Office 2013 with this subscription (yes, it is a subscription based system).   The price for Office 365 Home Premium is $9.99 / month, or $99.99 / year, depending on which you’d like to use.

So that’s it, in a nutshell. All the pricing, new features (that I’ve found so far), software options and references for the newest version of Microsoft Office.
If you’ve purchased the full version of Office 2013 (not the Preview version), let us know your feedback.

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