New Delhi: Microsoft Corp. CEO Steve Ballmer unveiled the customer preview of the new Microsoft Office. The next release is touted to feature an intuitive design that works with touch, stylus, mouse or keyboard across new Windows devices, including tablets.
The customer preview is available at office.com/preview . To get your hands on the customer preview of Office 2013, all you need to have is your Windows Live ID. Simply sign in for a personalised experience and all the most up-to-date Office applications, with new and enhanced features continually being added.
The revamped Office, touted by Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer as the most ambitious version so far, takes advantage of cloud computing and is designed for use with the upcoming Windows 8 operating system.
It makes use of cloud computing by storing documents and settings on the Internet by default, and is compatible with touch screens widely used in tablets. It also incorporates Skype, the video-calling service Microsoft bought for $8.5 billion in 2011.
"The Office that we'll talk about and show you today is the first round of Office that's designed from the get-go to be a service," Ballmer said at a news conference. "This is the most ambitious release of Microsoft Office that we've ever done."
Here are the top 10 features of the new Microsoft Office:
1. Touch everywhere: Office responds to touch as naturally as it does to keyboard and mouse. Swipe your finger across the screen or pinch and zoom to read your documents and presentations. Author new content and access features with the touch of a finger.
2. Inking: Use a stylus to create content, take notes and access features. Handwrite email responses and convert them automatically to text. Use your stylus as a laser pointer when presenting. Color your content and erase your mistakes with ease.
3. Included in Windows RT: Office Home and Student 2013 RT, which contains new versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote applications, will be included on ARM-based Windows 8 devices, including Microsoft Surface.
4. SkyDrive: Office saves documents to SkyDrive by default, so your content is always available across your tablet, PC and phone. Your documents are also available offline and sync when you reconnect.
5. Roaming: Once signed in to Office, your personalized settings, including your most recently used files, templates and even your custom dictionary, roam with you across virtually all of your devices. Office even remembers where you last left off and brings you right back to that spot in a single click.
6. New subscription services: The new Office is available as a cloud-based subscription service. As subscribers, consumers automatically get future upgrades in addition to exciting cloud services including Skype world minutes and extra SkyDrive storage. Subscribers receive multiple installs for everyone in the family and across their devices.
7. Skype: The new Office comes with Skype. When you subscribe, you get 60 minutes of Skype world minutes every month. Integrate Skype contacts into Lync and call or instant message anyone on Skype.
8. Reading and markup: The Read Mode in Word provides a modern and easy-to-navigate reading experience that automatically adjusts for large and small screens. Zoom in and out of content, stream videos within documents, view revision marks and use touch to turn pages.
9. Eighty-two-inch touch-enabled displays: Conduct more engaging meetings, presentations and lessons, whether in person or virtually, with these multitouch and stylus-enabled displays from Perceptive Pixel.
10. People Card: Have an integrated view of your contacts everywhere in Office. The People Card includes presence information complete with pictures, status updates, contact information and activity feeds from Facebook and LinkedIn accounts.
While the full lineup of offerings and pricing plans will be announced later this year, Ballmer discussed three new Office 365 subscription services.
Here are the three subscription models:
1. Office 365 Home Premium: designed for families and consumers. This service also includes an additional 20 GB of SkyDrive storage and 60 minutes of Skype world minutes per month.
2. Office 365 Small Business Premium: designed for small businesses. This service also includes business-grade email, shared calendars, website tools and HD webconferencing.
3. Office 365 ProPlus: designed for enterprise customers who want advanced business capabilities and the flexibility to deploy and manage in the cloud.
When available, each new subscription offer will include the new 2013 editions of the Office applications — Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher and Access.
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