July 19, 2012

The newest version of Microsoft Office, officially titled “The New Microsoft Office” (what do they intend to call the next one? The Even Newer Microsoft Office?), was unveiled to the press July 16, revealing a number of changes, most noticeably a deeper integration to the cloud, touch mode and more. Reviews of the suite of apps have been relatively positive. Engadget, CNET, and others have complimented Office 2013’s attempts to make it a viable option for tablet users as well as its polished and responsive experience. There are still some concerns about whether or not users of Windows 7 would be able to make use of the new tools. Furthermore, according to ComputerWorld, Windows XP and Vista users won’t even be able to use the new Office.

But the real question for businesses everywhere is simple: is this worth buying? To help you answer that, let’s take a look at three of the biggest changes it provides.

1. New commitment to the cloud

Office 2013 will now save your documents to Skydrive (microsoft’s cloud service) by default, allowing you to access files across multiple devices like your smartphone or tablet. Office 2013 is also available as a cloud-best subscription service. With the subscription to Office 365, you can stream Office apps to an internet-connect PC, receive more storage cloud storage space, multiple installs for other users, and other perks.

2. Can I touch it?New Microsoft Office

Office 2013 wisely adds touch and stylus functionality to allow tablet, smartphone and multi-touch laptop users to be productive on-the-go. Turn a page with the flick of a finger, pinch and zoom to read documents, and even write with a finger or stylus. Worried your writing will look like a pre-historic cave drawing? Don’t worry. When you write an email by hand, Office 2013 automatically converts it to text.

3. Enterprise services get a makeover

Services like Exchange, SharePoint, and Lync, are at the core of the enterprise suite and have seen some helpful upgrades that make communication at the corporate level more streamlined. In Exchange, new Data Loss Prevention features in Exchange help you take care of sensitive data. The new eDiscovery Center lets you monitor and analyze SharePoint, Lync, and Exchange data from a single interface. SharePoint has been updated to help with collaboration on projects using improved customizable team sites where you can stay in sync with coworkers.

With these new features and more, do you think the new Microsoft Office is worth a purchase? Let us know in the comments below!

Posted By: Melissa Zeman

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