Last week, Microsoft Corporation CEO Steve Ballmer did well to unveil a customer preview of the new Microsoft Office. This new release has some amazing features that include much-intuitive design features that work well with integrated touch, stylus, mouse or keyboard across new and existing Windows devices (including tablets). This new Office is highly social and does much to unlock modern scenarios in reading, note-taking, meetings and communications and will be delivered to subscribers through a cloud service that is always up to date. Looks like Microsoft took quite the cue from the Kindle, competitor tablets like the iPad, mobile phones and devices and cloud-reliant OS to package an all-in-one product and do better that the rest.
“We are taking bold steps at Microsoft. The new, modern Office will deliver unparalleled productivity and flexibility for both consumers and business customers. It is a cloud service and will fully light-up when paired with Windows 8.” Steve Ballmer said at the press conference in San Francisco.
The new Office takes some key pillars that can be well attributed to Windows 8 such as:
- Touch everywhere – the new Office responds to touch as naturally as it does to keyboard and mouse. You can now swipe your finger across the screen or pinch and zoom to read your documents and presentations. Author new content and access features with the touch of a finger. The tablet was previously known more for content consumption than for productivity. The new touch enabled office wants to change that.
- Inking –This is the use of a Stylus (plastic pen) to create content, take notes and access features. You can now also do a handwritten email and the new Office automatically converts them to proper text and machine font.
- New Windows 8 Applications – OneNote (for simplified note-taking) as well as Lync (for unified communication) represent the first new Windows 8 style applications for Office. These applications are designed to respond to a touch-first experience on a tablet. A new radial menu in OneNote makes it easy to access features with your finger on the touch-friendly tablets and PCs.
- Included in Windows RT – Office Home and Student 2013 RT, which contains new versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote applications, will be included on ARM-based Windows 8 devices, including Microsoft Surface.
Office in the Cloud :-
- SkyDrive – Office saves documents to SkyDrive by default, so your content is always available across your tablet, PC and phone. Your documents are also available offline and sync when you reconnect.
- Roaming – Once signed in to Office, your personalized settings, including your most recently used files, templates and even your custom dictionary, roam with youacross virtually all of your devices. Office even remembers where you last left off and brings you right back to that spot in a single click.
- Office on Demand –With a subscription, you can access Office even when you are away from your PC by streaming full-featured applications to an Internet-connected Windows-based PC.
- New subscription services – The new Office is available as a cloud-based subscription service. As subscribers, consumers automatically get future upgrades in addition to exciting cloud services including Skype world minutes and extra SkyDrive storage. Subscribers receive multiple installs for everyone in the family and across their devices.
- Yammer – Yammer delivers a secure, private social network for businesses. You can sign up for free and begin using social networking instantly. Yammer offers integration with SharePoint and Microsoft Dynamics.
- Stay connected – Follow people, teams, documents and sites in SharePoint. View and embed pictures, videos and Office content in your activity feeds to stay current and update your colleagues.
- People Card – Have an integrated view of your contacts everywhere in Office. The People Card includes presence information complete with pictures, status updates, contact information and activity feeds from Facebook and LinkedIn accounts.
- Skype – The new Office comes with Skype already integrated. When you subscribe to te newOffice, you get 60 free minutes of Skype world minutes every month. Integrate Skype contacts into Lync and call or instant message anyone on Skype.
Office Unlocks New Scenarios :-
- Digital note-taking – Keep your notes handy in the cloud and across multiple devices with OneNote. Use what feels most natural to you — take notes with touch, pen or keyboard, or use them together and switch easily back and forth.
- Reading and Markup – The Read Mode in Word provides a modern and easy-to-navigate reading experience that automatically adjusts for large and small screens. Zoom in and out of content, stream videos within documents, view revision marks and use touch to turn pages.
- Meetings – PowerPoint features a new Presenter View that privately shows your current and upcoming slides, presentation time, and speaker notes in a single glance. While presenting, you can zoom, markup and navigate your slides with touch and stylus. Lync includes multiparty HD video with presentations, shared OneNote notebooks and a virtual whiteboard for collaborative brainstorming.
- Eighty-two-inch touch-enabled displays – Conduct more engaging meetings, presentations and lessons, whether in-person or virtually, with these multi-touch and stylus-enabled displays from Perceptive Pixel.
While the full lineup of offerings and pricing plans will be announced in the fall, Ballmer discussed three new Office 365 subscription services. When available, 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 as well as per-use rights across up to 5 PCs or Macs and mobile devices.
The three new editions will be the following:
- Office 365 Home Premium—designed for families and consumers. This service also includes an additional 20 GB of SkyDrive storage and 60 minutes of Skype world minutes per month.
- Office 365 Small Business Premium—designed for small businesses. This service also includes business-grade email, shared calendars, website tools and HD web conferencing.
- Office 365 ProPlus—designed for enterprise customers who want advanced business capabilities and the flexibility to deploy and manage in the cloud.
The customer preview is available at MS Office site.