Wednesday, 30 January 2013 12:30 | By Jeremy Lim & Paul Lamkin

One Office, Multiple Devices

“Plug in” from any of your computers with the new Microsoft Office


Microsoft (© Getty)

The launch of the latest Microsoft Office yesterday brings several improvements to the table – most notably in cloud computing. Today’s consumers are likely to own multiple devices including PCs, Macs, smartphones and tablets, and the new Microsoft Office is tailored to their needs by allowing them to access their documents and settings from more than one device. Our good ol’ Office workhorses, Microsoft Word, Excel and Outlook also receive upgrades aimed at making them even more efficient and user-friendly. Last but not least, the new Office is touch-friendly and lets you get more out of your Windows 8 touchscreen devices.

What's new?

Office 2013, as you'd expect, has been built with Windows 8 in mind. It's designed to be equally as easy to control with a mouse as it is your finger and is intended to be as much at home on a Windows 8-powered tablet as it is on a fully fledged desktop PC.

“We are taking bold steps at Microsoft,” said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. “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.”

New features include 'touch everywhere' for intuitive control, Inking for stylus-based note taking and new apps include OneNote and Lync, which Microsoft says "deliver touch-first experiences on a tablet".

With Office 2013 you'll get access to SkyDrive for cloud-based file-fun, a roaming feature that remembers your personal settings, Office on Demand for browser-based Office-action, Yammer for social sharing, as well as integrated Skype.

RELATED: Office 2013 in Pictures

Word up

Word has been revamped with a raft of funky new features including Read Mode with text reflow, Object Zoom for easy viewing of tables, chart and pictures, Reply Comment for real time tracking, Simplified Sharing with better SkyDrive integration and Present Online for browser-powered collaboration.

Excelsior

Spreadsheet buffs will be pleased to hear that Excel 2013 has had a polish and comes out shining with new functions such as Flash Fill for easy formatting, a range of new analysis tools and easy social sharing with Facebook and the gang.

A better Outlook

Outlook 2013 also packs some hefty new tech including Exchange ActiveSync Support, Social Connectors, Weather Bar, Fast Filters and Context Commands.

'Appy days

Microsoft will also be offering web-based versions of the traditional Office apps. These are free, stripped down versions of the full Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote apps and are suitable viewing documents and bit of light editing.

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