Office 2013: Metro Style and SaaS Licensing

July 18, 2012  |  No Comments  |  by   |  Blog, News

This is a continuation of a prior post: Office 2013 and The Cloud.

Office 2013: A Cleaner, Metro Style and Look

Office 2013, Metro Changes

The first thing users will notice with Office 2013 is the new interface across all apps. It is designed to seamlessly work on all types of devices in highly similar manners. Furthermore the interface has been cleaned up, pursuing a more minimalist approach than the previous editions of Office. Some new screens have been added that fit into this strategy. For tablet users, these new start screens will help limit the number of commands on the screen and simplify the experience. This also works in favor of newer Office users. (Note: that for veteran Office users, you can easily bypass these new “dummy proofing” features and get the same old hot-key rich productivity experience you are used to)

Office 2013 drop screens

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The Office “Ribbon” is no longer three dimensional (see image below) and has been flattened. The text on the tabs is now grey until clicked, which then turns it blue.

Office 2013 Ribbon

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Office 2013 intelligently senses the monitor size and scales back the infrastructure of Office where needed. For example, On a desktop, the ribbon will appear by default and will be removed only by entering full screen mode. On tablets and phones, full screen mode is enabled by default in order to maximize the content area. (A image of full screen mode is below, literally all you see is the scroll bars and ruler bars) The resulting increase in screen real estate allows users on smaller screens to focus on work rather than the application’s interface.

Office 2013 Full Screen

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What used to be the “file” drop down menu is now an entire screen Microsoft refers to as “backstage”. This screen is entirely re-vamped since Office 2010 to allow for easier navigation to a variety of integrated locations (such as direct saving to a skydrive database, or other web locations. The design of the page is also converts easily to be used on tablet devices (IE: bigger icons, less noise in terms of content options per screen).

Office 2013 Backstage

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A further example of these full screen changes: When you open documents it will often open it in a “preview” mode first, this allows for easier full screen viewing, particularly on mobile devices. On a desktop you spin the mouse wheel lightly instead of pulling with your finger like you would on a tablet. The image below shows an example of this.

Office 2013 Preview

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Purchase Model Changes

A major point of change is the way Office 2013 will be purchased, downloaded, and accessed. Microsoft is moving home users to their successful Office 365 business model. Via this method, home users will be able to purchase Office via an online subscription process that is sold via the Office 365 portal. This includes the standard verision of office, plus a variety of choices as to exactly how many features users want. These categories are broken into: Home Users, Small Office Users, and Enterprise Users.

Pricing is currently not available except for the Enterprise Users, which can be purchased for $12/month/user. An individual license can install on up to 5 devices, including home devices of that same business user.

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