Microsoft Office 2013 will officially launch this Tuesday, January 29, and will be on sale for “general availability.” The announcement came from the official Microsoft Office Twitter account, which included a picture of the display being set up for the launch event in New York City’s Bryant Park.
The Microsoft Office 2013 suite has been re-designed for Windows 8 to better suit touchscreens and cloud connectivity. Office 2013 will still run in the traditional desktop environment, but aspects of the program have been altered to better suit use on tablets or touchscreen notebooks.
In addition to being able to purchase Office as a one-shot download for use on a single machine, Office 2013 will also be available as a subscription. The Office 365 Home Premium subscription allows users to install Office 2013 on up to five computers and will work with either PCs or Macs, according to Microsoft.
The one time download of Office 2013 will be priced at $219.99 USD for the Home and Business editions and $399.99 USD for the Professional Edition, at the time of this writing. The Office 365 Home Premium Subscription will be available for $99.95 USD a year for consumer and $149.99 USD a year for business. Microsoft has also announced that updates will be automatic with the subscription.
Word 2013 retains the metro interface but will feature improved support for embedded images and videos, including online media. It also will also come with native PDF editing and a new collaboration functionality that will allow for sharing to all users, even if they don’t have Word.
Excel will be easier to use with spot on auto-fill suggestions and a “Quick Analysis” button to help with formatting charts, tables, and spark-lines. Excel will now also detect patterns and analyze data, making it smarter than earlier versions.
Outlook will not have too many changes in the 2013 version, but will include social media integration with Facebook, LinkedIn and Hotmail. It will also allow users to preview calendar and contact information without switching screens and will have integrated weather information into the calendar.
PowerPoint 2013 will be compatible with widescreens and standard slides has been updated to the 16:9 aspect ratio. It will also feature layout and chart assistance, better online media support, as well as more collaboration and creation options.