Microsoft announces Office 2013, download the ‘Preview’ now to try it for yourself

Microsoft has officially announced the latest iteration of Microsoft Office, Office 2013. And Microsoft has made an Office 2013 Consumer Preview download freely available for Windows 7 and Windows 8 users so you can give Office 2013 a test drive yourself.

Office 2013 is radically redesigned, touch optimized, and comes with better social and cloud integration. Not only will Office 2013, supposedly, work better on touch devices (a la  Windows 8) but it also supports stylus and traditional mouse/keyboard input, and Office 2013 has SkyDrive and Skype integrated plus many other new features. Here is a quick highlight of Office 2013, as per Microsoft’s press release:

Office at Its Best on Windows 8

  • Touch everywhere. Office responds to touch as naturally as it does to keyboard and mouse. Swipe your finger across the screen or pinch and zoom to read your documents and presentations. Author new content and access features with the touch of a finger.
  • Inking. Use a stylus to create content, take notes and access features. Handwrite email responses and convert them automatically to text. Use your stylus as a laser pointer when presenting. Color your content and erase your mistakes with ease.
  • New Windows 8 applications. OneNote and Lync represent the first new Windows 8 style applications for Office. These applications are designed to deliver touch-first experiences on a tablet. A new radial menu in OneNote makes it easy to access features with your finger.
  • Included in Windows RT. Office Home and Student 2013 RT, which contains new versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote applications, will be included on ARM-based Windows 8 devices, including Microsoft Surface.

Office Is in the Cloud

  • SkyDrive. Office saves documents to SkyDrive by default, so your content is always available across your tablet, PC and phone. Your documents are also available offline and sync when you reconnect.
  • Roaming. Once signed in to Office, your personalized settings, including your most recently used files, templates and even your custom dictionary, roam with you across virtually all of your devices. Office even remembers where you last left off and brings you right back to that spot in a single click.
  • Office on Demand. With a subscription, you can access Office even when you are away from your PC by streaming full-featured applications to an Internet-connected Windows-based PC.
  • New subscription services. The new Office is available as a cloud-based subscription service. As subscribers, consumers automatically get future upgrades in addition to exciting cloud services including Skype world minutes and extra SkyDrive storage. Subscribers receive multiple installs for everyone in the family and across their devices.

Office Is Social

  • Yammer. Yammer delivers a secure, private social network for businesses. You can sign up for free and begin using social networking instantly. Yammer offers integration with SharePoint and Microsoft Dynamics.
  • Stay connected. Follow people, teams, documents and sites in SharePoint. View and embed pictures, videos and Office content in your activity feeds to stay current and update your colleagues.
  • People Card. Have an integrated view of your contacts everywhere in Office. The People Card includes presence information complete with pictures, status updates, contact information and activity feeds from Facebook and LinkedIn accounts.
  • Skype. The new Office comes with Skype. When you subscribe, you get 60 minutes of Skype world minutes every month. Integrate Skype contacts into Lync and call or instant message anyone on Skype.

Office Unlocks New Scenarios

  • Digital note-taking. Keep your notes handy in the cloud and across multiple devices with OneNote. Use what feels most natural to you — take notes with touch, pen or keyboard, or use them together and switch easily back and forth.
  • Reading and markup. The Read Mode in Word provides a modern and easy-to-navigate reading experience that automatically adjusts for large and small screens. Zoom in and out of content, stream videos within documents, view revision marks and use touch to turn pages.
  • Meetings. PowerPoint features a new Presenter View that privately shows your current and upcoming slides, presentation time, and speaker notes in a single glance. While presenting, you can zoom, mark up and navigate your slides with touch and stylus. Lync includes multiparty HD video with presentations, shared OneNote notebooks and a virtual whiteboard for collaborative brainstorming.
  • Eighty-two-inch touch-enabled displays. Conduct more engaging meetings, presentations and lessons, whether in person or virtually, with these multitouch and stylus-enabled displays from Perceptive Pixel.

It isn’t exactly clear what the upgrade path or pricing for Office 2013 will be nor if it will appear on other platforms, such as mobile devices and Mac OS X. We will be sure to report on those details when available. For now, however, you can hit up the link below to get download and install Office 2013 Customer Preview:

Microsoft OFfice 2013 Customer Preview homepage

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  • lol768

    It seems Microsoft are leaving traditional desktops behind, with the new Metro interface. I’ve been trying out Windows 8 but honestly prefer Mint. If I had a tablet, I’m sure it would be great, but I don’t think I’ll be using one anytime soon.

  • s66

    The Office 365 Home Premium Preview will expire approximately 60 days after the next version of Office becomes available in your market. Once the preview has expired, the applications enter read-only mode. This means you can view or print existing documents, but can´t edit them, save them or create new documents. You must uninstall the preview version of Office before installing a newer version of Office.

  • Thanks Ashraf for the update. The cloud and touch stuff is likely to appeal to many and I am sure it is a precursor to iDevice/Android versions of office.

    For those who hate the ribbon why not use an add-on that bring back the menus like UBitMenu (works with Office 2007 and 2010) which is free for home use and can be found at

  • Jason

    I just tried out Office 2013 Preview. It is beautiful. The flow of the app is so much better than previous versions. The performance is also fast compared to before. Metro is really working out great in this and the intuitiveness of all the previous versions are also there.

    If you’re still stuck on Windows XP, you’re holding yourself back. Ever since Windows Vista, Windows has improved by a lot. Also, with XP, you’re stuck on outdated, unsafe software, not just in the Office department.

    I’m glad there’s cloud support. SkyDrive is going to save quite a lot of space from my computer. And I can access my files from anywhere! :D.

    P.S. That cursor animation is so elegant.

  • Mags

    I’m with Mary on this, I don’t need all the Social, Cloud, Touch etc.

    From what I understand there really isn’t much of an improvement on the main features of Office 2013, vs 2010 and 2007, just all the added social, cloud, touch stuff. (I was going to say garbage, but for or tablet users or ones into all that other stuff I guess it is a good thing.)

    I honestly didn’t see much of an improvement in Office 2010 over 2007, just a few things, but that is MO.

    I think I have almost all versions of MS Office from Office 98, up to 2010, but only have 2007 and 2010 installed (on different pc’s) I used to have the version of Office that ran on Windows 3.1, (all on floppy disks but eventually got rid of them.)

    I might give 2013 a try, just to see what it is like compared to 2010 to see if it is worth upgrading to or not.

  • Jake

    What is the difference between Office 2013 and Office 365? I see no mention of Office 2013 when I visit your provided link from my iPad.

  • Mary

    I don’t need the cloud and social stuff, (added bloat ware for me)
    but, before I download anything, I wonder, what exactly is the “preview” and how long is it going to “last”?

    Are these just sample versions of the products, with limitations or full packages? Do they “expire” after a specific amount of time like the rest of them that come prepackaged on new PC’s? I imagine if they are ‘previews’, then they must expire at some time.

    I do have Office 2003. Or, I did, until my other PC crashed that it came on, and now can’t find the serial number for it, and I just can’t afford to purchase MS Office.
    (Been using what I can of Libre Office and Open Office.)

    Does anyone know / tried these yet?

    This product I’m sure will be great for many people. Just not me.

  • Dru

    I’m also on XP. I have 2003 on one and 2010 on the other (at least it’s better than 2007). I hate hate hate the ribbon. Wish 2013 had an option to use menu interface. There are some features of 2010 that I really enjoy, but overall I work so much slower due to the @#$%^ ribbon.

    The cloud is compelling, I think. If you use data across phone, tablet and computer then that ease of use is beneficial. However, there are other ways around that, just involving additional steps.

  • haakon

    Blushing :-) I mostly use Office XP at home, Office 2003 at work.
    What “we”(at work) will never do is to use the cloud for anything important.
    Small organisation, 40+ PC`s, and totally relying on internet.
    BUT, as out internet is not totally reliable we have 3 backup systems.
    The failsafe one is based on the old NMT mobile phone system :-)
    It is fast enough for ALL sorts of E-mail and so on but NOT for running cloud applications- like MS Office.
    In all honesty? What ARE the benefits of using “the cloud” to run important applications?
    Our local network takes care of our internal coworking, when at home we use the net to connect.
    IF the connection is down we can still work!
    Updates to and co- work with those not at the factory are done when the net is fully back online.
    I do NOT understand why “the cloud” is so important!
    I am just old and silly :-)
    I AM a software junky…so I will try the new Office
    Thanks !

  • Janet


    I’m still on Office 2003…! Love it! I don’t find it lacking in anything I need and am still contantly learning new things it can do! I seem to recall that it has some features that were taken out of later versions–don’t remember what they were…..

  • Ashraf

    @mukhi: Im still on Office 2007 and dont plan on upgrading anytime soon. What is the point? All I need is basics of Word, PPT, and Excel.

    @JT: You are welcome!

  • mukhi

    i could try but what’s the point? i have office 2010, and therefore, i won’t buy upgrade soon.
    too bad that i have a complex PPT where i have macros, and SWF videos linked; some days ago, office 2007 in my office xp laptop started crashing this PPT. i changed it to 2010, and the document won’t open (crashes) unless i disable macros. with disabled macros, i can’t open any of those videos. sweet; good job MS.

    i ended up relinking those videos; the only good thing is that 2010 version is better with SWF files.

  • JT

    Too bad most of my PC’s run XP. I hope they will allow it to be installed on XP once it’s formally released, but I’m not holding my breath. I really like the features it talks about, makes it really nice to be able to open up a PDF with Word, and automatically edit it like a Word document! Thanks for keeping us updated. =)