Following is a high-level comparison of Office 2013 vs. Office 2010 based on yesterday’s announcement. This is not a comprehensive list, but rather some highlights.
- File formats: The same.
- User interface: Office 2013 is much more tablet (touch and stylus) friendly. It’s also much cleaner: the UI is less cluttered and the chrome is gone. Besides making it easier on the eyes, this probably takes some load off of the graphics processors, making the app run faster on less powerful devices.
- Word: Documents are saved to SkyDrive by default (assuming you’re online and signed in to your organizational account). When signed in to SkyDrive, the system remembers where you last were in the document.
- Excel: Excel watches your actions, recognizes the pattern, and auto-completes data entry (called “Flash Fill”). It also recommends some suitable Charts and PivotTables so you can select the best one. Users can share workbooks by attaching them to an IM.
- PowerPoint: When online, you can add pictures from services such as Facebook and Flickr without having to save them first to your local PC.
- Outlook: Outlook now supports multiple email accounts, just like the iPad has for the past several years.
- OneNote: Synchronous playback of notes and recordings. You can record while you’re typing, and then go back to the note and hear what was said while you were typing.
- Office 365: In the past, Office 365 was all about business. In other words, Office 365 competed against Google Apps for Business; there was no Microsoft equivalent to the consumer-oriented Google Apps. That has changed. There’s now an “Office 365 Home Premium,” which offers software versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, OneNote, Access, and Publisher on up to five PCs and 20GB of SkyDrive storage.
- iPad Support: Unclear. Microsoft currently offers OneNote and Lync for iOS devices. All tablet discussion today centered around Windows 8 tablets. So it’s unclear whether the strategy is (1) back to Windows first or (2) we’re writing more iPad apps but we aren’t talking about them yet.
- Automatic Saving to SkyDrive: If you’re signed in to SkyDrive, the system saves documents to SkyDrive by default. This is true for Word, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Publisher.
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