Office 2013

February 22, 2013

Recently, Microsoft released Office version 2013. In case you forgot, Office is the name of the set of programs that includes software like Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, and so forth. Office comes in different editions that include different combinations of these programs.

Microsoft office does not come with Windows. So if you are planning to purchase a new computer, you should be aware of that. If your new computer has Windows 8 on it, then you can use Office version 2003, 2007, 2010, or 2013. If you are interested in purchasing Office 2013, you should be aware that it will only work on Windows 7 and Windows 8. It doesn’t work on Vista or on XP.

What’s new in Office 2013? For starters, it has a look and feel similar to Windows 8. No surprise there. Microsoft has been changing everything to have that same look and feel. In addition to that, the biggest change is that Office is more cloud oriented. It wants to save your documents online instead of your local computer. Of course it will save them on your local computer. But it prefers to save them online. As an example, if you have Microsoft SkyDrive installed on your computer and you create a new Word document, when you go to save it, it’s going to want to save it on your SkyDrive. You can, of course, tell it to save it on your computer.

Another difference concerns how Outlook accesses email accounts from MSN.com, Live.com, Hotmail.com, and Outlook.com. Prior to this version, you had to install the Outlook Connector so that Outlook could access these email accounts. The Outlook Connector worked, but it had problems. Now that functionality is built-in to Outlook and works much better.

Although the fixed a few problems, they created a few as well. The biggest problems seem to be with Outlook. Specifically, when you delete an email the display in Outlook often gets messed up. In addition, there are some problems when you are tying a reply to an email. These problems are pretty annoying. If you are an Outlook user, I would recommend that you hold off upgrading to Office 2013.

Should you upgrade? In a word, no. Unless you want or need the more cloud-centric features, stick with your current version.

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