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This will be a short and light review.
Since the announcement and launch of Office 2013, I can’t wait to see what is in store in comparison to 2010. Download was fairly quick and it synchronises with your Windows Live account. I think Microsoft is trying to get more user base into SkyDrive with a generous 7GB of space since it is aiming at a more seamless transition of files and cloud storage. Admittedly I’ve not bothered using it and been stuck with Dropbox for years. This is quite evident and heavily promoted, you will notice when saving file giving the options to save online or stored locally. The whole idea is based on web integration with the programs itself. You could search and embed images without having to switch to a browser. It even gives you options to colour correct images from within.
I am not a heavy Office user but these changes are definitely useful and productive especially when I have to prepare a presentation a night before.
What I didn’t like was, everything looks a bit too pale and lifeless (everything is almost white in fact). Icons and buttons on the ribbon seemed to be a bigger and simplified, I presume to cater for the touch device. I still prefer if it has some depth or 3d dimensional feel to it. I hope Microsoft would implement colour customisation in the final release. I didn’t quite get the personal customisation which does nothing but to add an image to the menu bar along the top right corner.
However in saying that, it didn’t bother me too much after awhile as I am concentrating on the document instead. There is an option to go full screen and hides most of the menu, only to drop down when you click on it.
Here is a quick account of my experience so far (I don’t use all the features but just enough to get the job done)
The real time word wrap around an image is pretty useful and quick. Also embedding and moving images is so much easier with the help of the snapping guide ala Keynote.
There is an option to create a blog and integrating the document directly with blogger, wordpress, sharepoint, typepad and etc. You get the usual templates with word in the past. Not much has changed except a tighter web integration.
As for PowerPoint and Excel. I like the plethora of document samples and how it is being laid out in the Metro style interface.The overall workflow seemed to be smoother and less clunky to use. I have yet to explore more but I need to feel excited by it.
I can’t really comment on the rest as I don’t use them on a daily basis. If you haven’t try it, probably could be worth a look. I think it would be like Marmite, you’ll either like it or don’t. I am still sitting on the fence on this.