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!
It looks like a combination of 2003/2007 at first glance. I’m not thrilled with joining things or having my client-sensitive materials in the clouds.
Is there a beta version that can just be downloaded without registering or using Live IDs?
One quick thing that looks great is the wide screen work area.
Thanks so much for sharing Ellen. Always enjoy getting your newsletter.
I’ve never known of a beta that didn’t require registration, so I think that’s normal. Regarding the Live ID, I don’t think you have to sign in. I’ve used it when I didn’t have Internet access. And thanks for your kind comments about my newsletter!
Just wanted to say thanks for the newsletter with information and presentation tips. I have found it very useful.
Thanks again for the good work!
Is there a beta for Mac users? I work on the Windows version through Citrix, but from a Mac computer, where I also work in the Mac version. I would like to be able to access the beta version to get a jump start on the new features since I do presentations in both versions as well as training for our company employees. I doubt I can access the Windows version through Citrix.
Microsoft usually alternates Windows and Mac versions. So, Windows versions are 2003, 2007, 2010, and 2013 and Mac versions are 2004, 2008, and 2011. I don’t have any information from MS about this, but looking at the numbers would lead to the conclusion that there will be a Mac version in 2014. I know that there are ways for people with a Mac to use Windows programs, but I’m pretty ignorant about them.
Thanks for posting this Ellen. I am like Chelsea and will probably download this but my question is this. Can I run this side by side with my MS Office 2010 or will the Beta of MS 2013 mess up my MS Office 2010? I hope you understand what I am asking. Basically if they can both be installed at the same time without any issues is what I mean. I hope to hear back from you neighbor. I live in Ottumwa, Ia. Have a great day!
Remember that betas can have bugs. I use a separate computer — my laptop — for betas. But I have 2003, 2007. 2010, and 2013 on that laptop, with no problem.