Print 23 comment(s) - last by CalaverasGrand.. on Jul 23 at 3:00 PM

Metro, cloud, and third party options are key improvements

Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) star attraction is the controversial massive revamp of its Windows operating system franchise, Windows 8, set to air in October.

But it today unveiled a significant preview of its other key moneymaker -- the Office suite.  Office 15 will be known as Office 2013 when it launches sometime later this year. The software just hit Consumer Preview, packed with features that reflect Microsoft shifting vision.

Metro UI
The user interface is relatively similar to Office 2010, but the Metro style, with hard edges, solid colors and pastel themes are there.  Similar to the changes to Windows Explorer, this Metro UI makeover creeps up on you, rather than walloping you right away.

An Office 365 Home Premium subscription user can now install one-time use Office apps on an internet-connected client PC.  Basically this allows you to migrate your license to whatever machine you want.  For users in general, there's also direct access to cloud storage via SkyDrive.

Third Party Integration
Via logins you can access various accounts, such as your Facebook, Inc. (FB) network profile or a Flickr account to ad pictures.  Videos are now embeddable, as well, with support for YouTube, and other less popular alternatives.  Excel also has a special data-driven scripting extension language codenamed Agaves, which will allow you to unify your spreadsheet data with online data.

There is a touch mode in the Consumer Preview, but its functionality is currently limited.  When it touch mode, click elements enlarges them, offering an automatic workflow tool in addition to your standard gestures.  Expect Microsoft to expand on this bare-bones implementation in upcoming builds.

Microsoft can't quit search, despite its monetary losses, and it's determined to find ways to productize it.  One way is to integrate Bing results directly into the Office interface.  You can now access Bing Search via the "Insert an Image" Ribbon widget, allowing for quicker grabs of internet images (because opening up the browser is so tough, we know).  

Office 2013 may tread closer to traditionalism than Windows 8 on the surface, but digging deeper, all the key direction shifts for Microsoft are there.  Expect beefier touch support in weeks to come, given Microsoft's deep commitment to bleeding edge touch products.

For now check out the Consumer Preview for yourself, available here.

Source: Microsoft

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

No thanks
By joex444 on 7/16/2012 5:05:28 PM , Rating: 1
Really, what is this? I, for one, do not want this. It looks like they tried to make it "easier" to use. It actually looks patronizing.

Not a fan of Windows to start with. The whole Metro UI thing is ridiculous on a desktop. Makes some sense on a tablet, but still hideous. With Windows 7 I would basically just pin all the programs (not "apps," you morons, they've been called programs for the last 50 years) that I use regularly and launch them from there. Then the next most common thing was WIN+R to run "cmd".

I would guess that history will not view Windows 8 as the pinnacle of the franchise. Not even close. Windows 7 really isn't bad, but it is interesting to note that as long as you don't want to play games Ubuntu is a far more stable choice that doesn't take much getting used to at all. And that is a totally free OS. Sometimes you don't get what you pay for.

RE: No thanks
By kleinma on 7/16/2012 5:17:18 PM , Rating: 3
Are you saying you can't use win+r for run command or pin apps anymore? Perhaps they are not the morons here...

RE: No thanks
By xti on 7/16/2012 5:19:36 PM , Rating: 2

RE: No thanks
By The Raven on 7/16/2012 5:24:06 PM , Rating: 3
not "apps," you morons, they've been called programs for the last 50 years
Flynn: "Greetings, app!"

RE: No thanks
By MikadoWu on 7/16/2012 5:53:24 PM , Rating: 2
I think you are way Wrong and have not used it. I love METRO on a Keyboard and mouse. It took all of about 2 days to get use to it. Have upgrade 5 computers in the house to it already. Even the Kids do not want to go back to 7.

RE: No thanks
By twhittet on 7/16/12, Rating: 0
RE: No thanks
By Pirks on 7/16/2012 7:07:19 PM , Rating: 1
some of us use our computers to do work
Your trolling is boring because Win8 does not force Metro except for a start screen, and if you happen to do work in a start screen, then, well... all the best to you, har har harrr :))) LOL

RE: No thanks
By prophet001 on 7/17/2012 9:56:07 AM , Rating: 2
^ not this

RE: No thanks
By JediJeb on 7/16/12, Rating: 0
RE: No thanks
By thurston2 on 7/16/2012 7:03:28 PM , Rating: 4
Perhaps you are the moron, application is a more appropriate name. Why do you think MS Office is called a business application suite? Word is an application, Hello World is a program, stop being a curmudgeon. I bet you still call a microwave a radar range.

"If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." -- Scientology founder L. Ron. Hubbard

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki