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New features of Microsoft Office 15 include the ability to present PowerPoint slides in a manner that matches the original presentation scheme, allowing you to have a digital laser pointer and a timer, all found within a dashboard elegantly crafted for the presenter. When you connect an external monitor to your Windows 8 tablet, people attending your presentation see the slides while you still see the dashboard on your screen. This gives you a significant amount of flexibility and comfort while presenting your slides. Of course, that’s just some of what PowerPoint offers.
Word has a pretty interface:
Back to the subject of Word, it can open PDF files, meaning that you won’t really need Adobe Reader to do this anymore. Anything you want to save can be stored in the cloud or locally, depending on whether you want to share the documents with multiple devices across the Internet or not. This is especially useful for taking your work home!
Outlook now lets you specify how long you want to store your mail offline right from the “Add Account” dialog if you’re adding an IMAP account. Other than that, adding an account is pretty much the same.
The interface is also strikingly similar to that of Outlook 2010, but I’ve finally seen something worthwhile: They fixed notifications on IMAP mailboxes. In Outlook 2010, I don’t get notifications by default and have to add a rule for the program to notify me whenever new mail arrives. Outlook 2013 seems to have this issue straightened out. The interface itself is a bit more navigable than the mess I had to deal with in 2010.
Also, as opposed to the almost 200MB of RAM that Outlook 2010 used, Outlook 2013 seems to use a steady 35MB of RAM with comparatively similar settings and accounts. This definitely deserves some kudos. Oh, and here’s another selling point: Replies to emails are now in-line with the program’s interface, meaning that the program will not open a new window for replies. And just like Windows 7 has Aero Peek, Outlook now lets you preview your calendar and other things by simply hovering your mouse pointer over each section of the interface.
Our next stop is at OneNote 2013, the last program included in the Office 15 (2013) preview. Its interface is rather simple:
Beyond that, there’s nothing much else to see. Of course, that might be because Microsoft is trying to emulate an actual notebook. Aside from that, you get nothing much else unless you use a touchscreen, which offers you a radial interface with selected elements within your notes.
The new Excel interface is also very elegant, especially when you want to make charts. The chart designer has been re-vamped to offer more feasibility for people who are new to Excel and veterans who want to save some time.
Office 15 seems to have been worked on in a bit of a hurry, especially since it doesn’t harness the real power behind its cloud-driven features. Compared to Office 2010, Office 2013 definitely flies much higher. However, I’m talking about the fact that it could have had the potential for much, much more.
Another pet peeve I have with Office 15 is that it has that Metro look, but doesn’t give you the option to make the application full-screen (or maybe it does and I didn’t notice?).Is Office 15 Worth It?
Despite its lack of imagination with the cloud technology and the inability to use fullscreen, there’s a lot to be said about how much it can do. The amount of features added and the incredibly snazzy interface make Office 15 definitely worthwhile against Office 2010.
Low resource usage makes it an ideal application for someone with a low to mid-range computer, when you would have needed something mid to high-end to run Office 2010 properly. Outlook is gorgeous and I like how it doesn’t freeze every 5 seconds. Nobody could be happier than Microsoft Office’s IMAP users, who now get proper notifications when new messages arrive. It was annoying to have to program Outlook to notify me.
In the end, all I have to say is that the new version of Office has a lot to offer and shouldn’t be overlooked. While people might be unnerved by the Metro interface in Windows 8 itself, Office 15 makes excellent use of the Metro look and feel, giving you a less cluttered view of what you’re doing. This is probably the one impressive product Microsoft will be coming up with this fall. Stay tuned for its release next year!It’s Your Turn to Discuss!
Miguel has been a business growth and technology expert for more than a decade and has written software for even longer. From his little castle in Romania, he presents cold and analytical perspectives to things that affect the tech world.
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