Microsoft Office 2013, Office 365: 10 Features That Make It a Smart Buy

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Microsoft Office 2013, Office 365: 10 Features That Make It a Smart Buy

by Don Reisinger

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A New, Streamlined Design

One of the first things users will notice when they open up Office 2013 is its new design. The software comes with a streamlined interface that mimics Windows 8 and Windows Phone. Microsoft believes that the new interface will make users a bit more productive. And that might just be the case.

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A New and Improved Zoom

Another new item in Word is the ability to quickly zoom in on one part of the document. That feature was sorely missing in previous items and made editing a bit more difficult. Now, users can simply double-click (or double-tap with their fingers) and automatically zoom in on just one part of the document.

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Bring On the Online Videos

Online videos have become a key component in just about every type of marketing. And since streaming clips are important these days, Microsoft has made the smart move to allow users to embed videos into documents. Look for that to be a popular feature among most users.

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A Much-Improved PowerPoint

PowerPoint is much better in the latest Office version. The software includes more transitions, better control over slide designs and a revamped interface to make it easier to create interesting presentations.

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Full Online Integration

With help from Office 365, users can get everything they need from office directly in the cloud. The platform offers full storage and full functionality in an online environment, making the software the first generation of what is Microsoft's future focus online.

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The Office the Enterprise Wants

The corporate world will like what it finds in the latest office. For one thing, there's full online integration, allowing for more productivity from mobile workers. Plus, the platform is designed around getting employees to do more in less time, which makes all IT decision makers happy. This latest Office just might be a compelling purchase for the corporate world.

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Online Storage, Anyone?

Microsoft has made a surprising move with its Office integration for consumers: It's offering 20GB of free SkyDrive storage with the purchase of its software. So, in addition to being able to store documents on the desktop, users can also save them for free in the cloud. Is this a new Microsoft?

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Improved Data Analysis In Excel

Data analysis has always been one of the most important functions of Excel, and with the latest version of the software, Microsoft has stepped it up. The company's data-analysis features are easier to use and have more power, making it easier to crunch massive amounts of data. Granted, Excel still can't replace Access as a database, but as a number-cruncher, it's still the best in the game.

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A Better Outlook On … Outlook

Outlook got an overhaul in the new version of Office. The application now allows users to preview messages, respond with inline replies and see contact information in a single spot to make managing communications a bit easier. Outlook has been overhauled. And enterprise users, especially, will be happy to see that.

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A New Way of Doing Business

Microsoft is trying a new way to get the business of home users. Although it's still offering them the chance to buy the software for up to $400 for one installation, they can also get Office 365 Home Premium for $100 per year or $10 per month. Microsoft hasn't said how well its subscription models have sold, but it's an interesting approach.