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Productivity in the Cloud – Office 15

When you think they can’t think of anything new, here’s the new office productivity suite from Microsoft – Office 2013 codenamed Office 15 which will be launched very soon.  Office 2013 will be available as part of Windows RT for ARM processors, and separately for the IA-32 and x86-64 versions of Windows.

So what’s new with Office 15?  Simply put – it’s built for the cloud.  Let us examine some of the new features:

Office 15 focusses heavily on the cloud capabilities.  For starters, saving files to SkyDrive is the default destination and not C:drive, which makes it easy to share files to your friends or co-workers – all you need to do hit File, share and choose between two options “Get link” or “Invite people”.

For Word lovers, Microsoft added some cool features like “Read Mode” where it provides easy reading by removing distractions from the user interface.  It also comes with “Resume Reading” function that will allow you to start from where you left off.  Another feature is called “Object Zoom” which allow the users to zoom in objects by simply double clicking them.  The Expand & Collapse function gives users an easy option to hide or reveal paragraphs under their headings.  The Track Changes feature now comes with a Reply Comments feature to help users track comments.  And a “Touch Mode” so that users can navigate through their documents with their fingers.

The new Excel 15 also comes with new features like the Quick Analysis Lens that allow users to access ways on how to visualize represent data.  It also comes with Recommend Charts and PivotTables to help decide the best way to visualize data.  A new feature in Excel 15 is called “Flash Fill” which simplifies reformatting and rearranging of data.  Excel Charts also comes with animation.  The new Excel also offers a collection of designed template where users can use it for budgets, forms, reports and calendars.  And of course, just like Word, Touch Mode in Excel is also present.

Since most monitors and projectors nowadays are widescreen, the new Powerpoint 15 has a new aspect ratio – 16:9 by default.  Powerpoint also comes with Start Experience for quick access to users favorite files, templates and most recently viewed presentations.  It also comes with a Presenter View which allow users to manipulate slides, view notes and others without the audience seeing it.  Touch Mode is also present with Powerpoint 15 so that presenters can move through slides and presentations using a touch screen or tablet PC.

Outlook 15 comes with a new feature called Peeks, allowing users to view their schedule, details of people they are emailing and review tasks all in one screen.  It also comes with a Weather bar to allow users check weather condition on certain dates before accepting or setting appointments.  It also comes with Inline Replies so that users to reply to emails in one click.  The new Outlook 15 also comes with animations and New Context Commands.

Microsoft also brought new features to OneNote like preparing a Metro style to OneNote for Windows 8 users.  It also comes with Auto-Updating to let users see content previews from Excel and Visio files.  Table support has been enhanced allowing users to sort, be able to add headers and to convert OneNote table into an attached spreadsheet.  TouchMode also comes with OneNote, and Read Mode as well.

Another notable features are  embedding online videos, editing PDFs, web apps,  onscreen keyboard, Timeline slicer and more.  And can you now imagine how Microsoft can integrate the new Office 15 with its acquisitions like Yammer, Skype, and Perceptive Pixel.  Sharing Office files will be a breeze not only from PC to PC but to another devices and on the web as well.

The new features I Just mentioned are features that are present in the Technical Preview version of Office 15.  I am sure that more features will be paraded once the final product is release.  And I promise to update you on this once its available.

(Article written by Jerry Liao)

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