Microsoft Rolls Out Revamped Office Suite as a Cloud Service
Microsoft Office Preview Event
Technology reporters and editors gathered in San Francisco July 16 to hear Microsoft executives, including CEO Steve Ballmer, reveal the consumer preview version of the Office 2013 suite of productivity software. Ballmer spoke of the new suite as "Office as a service" underscoring the point that many of its programs can be delivered in the cloud.
Steve Ballmer Shares 'Exciting' News About Office
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced the consumer preview of the suite, also known as Office 15, before a picture of the coming Microsoft Surface tablet, a device with the software and hardware designed together by Microsoft. Office will also run on other Windows 8-powered devices and Windows Phone 8 for Smartphones.
Office Leverages Touch-Screen, Mouse, Keyboard Interfaces
Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Office Division, demonstrates a number of new features of Office. He said Office lets users interact with the applications through touch gestures on a tablet or smartphone and though a mouse and physical keyboard when running them on a desktop or laptop computer.
OneNote and the Radial Feature
Microsoft OneNote will be integrated into Office in the Windows 8 operating system. Also new in OneNote is Radial, the oval image on the right, which is a new interface for making document changes such as changing the color of text, font size, typeface and other tools.
Office Is Social
The Outlook People Card aggregates various types of contact information for the same person in one place, including phone numbers, email addresses and even Twitter handles. The four round buttons next to the photo give you the option of contacting people by instant messaging, phone, video or email.
New PowerPoint Features
The new version of Office improves PowerPoint, offering a separate image of the presentation just for the presenter, not the audience. The dashboard displays the slide currently being shown, along with a preview of the next slide, as well as a place for notes to aid the speaker.
Social on SharePoint
The SharePoint document-sharing app adds enterprise social features with a user interface that mirrors that of Facebook. It features a list of members of the SharePoint team and a News Feed where they post updates on their project along with links to relevant documents and to Websites.
Word 2013 Preview
Office will include a new version of Word that saves documents in the cloud or on the device. It also saves templates used for various content and because Office 365 is cloud-delivered, anyone can access their documents when in the office, home or on the road, and on tablets, laptops, desktops or smartphones.
A New Look
The new version of Office bears a new logo as well as redesigned looks for various icons representing Word, Lync, Outlook and other apps. Microsoft has also integrated Office with newly acquired Skype for video and voice calling as well as Yammer for enterprise social networking.
Ballmer Sees 'Exciting' Times for Microsoft
CEO Steve Ballmer says Microsoft is having an "exciting" year with the acquisition of Yammer and the introduction of the Surface tablet, along with the introduction of the new Windows 8 operating system and the Windows Phone 8 mobile OS.