Microsoft has just released a public beta (pre-release vesion) of the next version of Office, called Office 2013. You can get it here.
I’ll be doing a full review, but for now, I wanted to give you a feel for what to expect.
Work anywhere, on any device
There’s a major conceptual change. Instead of saving on your computer — which you can still do, of course — you’re encouraged to save in the cloud, specifically on SkyDrive.
You’re also strongly encouraged to log in when you start Office. (After the first time, you can be logged in automatically. If you don’t have a Windows Live account, you’ll be prompted to create one.) The result is that your work is available anywhere, any time. This applies throughout the various Office applications.
Because you might be working on a touch screen, such as a tablet or smart phone, there’s a Touch Mode that you can activate.
Wide screen is in
There’s a default wide-screen theme. That’s because wide-screen projectors are becoming more popular.
The look is different
The look is more understated. Sometimes, I find it hard to see the edges of the components of the screen, but there’s a certain elegance to it. The Notes pane isn’t displayed by default; just click the NOTES button at the bottom of the screen to toggle it on or off. Here’s the entire screen.
More details coming! Will you download the beta? Leave a comment!