For the first time, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook are going to be available with touch-screen controls. Taps, swipes, and pinch-and-zoom can be used within documents, files and presentations.
This was always going to be a reality, given the fact that Microsoft recently unveiled a tablet that it called the Surface.
The user-experience is designed to be more “immersive,” “visceral” and “multimedia-rich”, compared to earlier versions of Office, Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer, said in San Francisco yesterday.
He described Office 2013 as the firm’s “most ambitious release” to date, and it will be primed for mobile devices, cloud computing, and social networking.
Office is the globe’s most popular productivity application, with a billion users worldwide, and is Microsoft’s key revenue driver.
Office 2013 is fully touch-ready, as is Windows 8, the company’s latest operating system, as well as the Surface, which is expected to be available in October.
Office 2013 will also likely be ready for iPad sooner or later too, and should also function quite nicely on the new iPhone screen when that gets launched. The Wall Street Journal has some spice on that, which you can read about here.
Here is the summary:
- Documents, slides, and presentations can be marked up on mobile screens, drawn on, highlighted or annotated with a digital pen, stylus or even a finger.
- Skype, bought for $8,5 billion (£5,4bn) in 2011, and Yammer, a social network for businesses, are being rolled into Office: live, multi-party conversations and meetings can be created with Skype video and accessed within Word, PowerPoint, or Outlook.
- New “People Cards” include an individual’s digital “presence” – a photo, options to email, instant message, phone or video chat, and activity feeds from the social networks Facebook and Linkedin.
- Skydrive automatically saves and syncs all Office documents in an online, cloud-based storage service. This makes files and content created in Office available on demand across computing devices.
And here is a nice demonstrational video from CNet:
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