Editor’s Note: With Windows 8 available October 26, today’s guest authors break down another major new Microsoft product scheduled to be released soon: Office 2013. It is more cloud-based than previous offerings, and their post also compares premium and free office suites.
Whether you are a businessman, student, or casual computer user, you definitely need an office suite–a package of software for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, and more–for all your everyday business and school needs.
There are paid and free solutions that you can look at, but everything pales in comparison to Microsoft’s Office software package.
Robust or Bloated?
It is indeed true that most of the people don’t need the full feature set of MS Office. This is the reason why most of the users find MS Office bloated and needlessly complicated. The “ribbon” interface is also unattractive; it is definitely functional, but most of the time unusable for basic needs.
Free office suites like OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice should suffice for those simple tasks. However, there is a big problem with them: compatibility issues.
Most of the time, people find their files’ format being destroyed if they are opened in a different computer. The same thing happens when opened with a different version of the same application, as well as being opened with an entirely different platform.
MS Office is known for its longer support for its software, thus making the purchased suite much preferable for a longer run since it is not that needed to upgrade when a new version comes out in the market.
To the Cloud
With the recent release of the pricing structure of Office 2013, it is somewhat tempting to upgrade from whatever version of MS Office you are currently using. Most people are still using MS Office 2003 since it simply gets the job done or they just find the “ribbon” interface of subsequent releases a needless update.
Microsoft is heavily pushing cloud computing. Aside from the usual retail version of locally-installable version of Office, they are also offering its cloud version, Office 365.
What makes Office 365 attractive is its competitive pricing. Office 2013 Home and Student is priced at $139.99, Office 2013 Home and Business is at $219.99 and Office 2013 Professional is available for $399.99. All of them is licensed to just one computer, be it a Windows machine or Mac hardware.
Office 365 Home Premium is at $99.99 per year, $8.33 per month. The Office 365 Small Business Premium is at $149.99 per, $12.50 per month. Sure it looks like an unattractive solution if you opt for the subscription-based cloud version instead of the one-time purchase retail version. Remember, the former can be uses across five devices, simultaneously.
Also, if you are into cloud storage, Microsoft is throwing in an additional 20GB of SkyDrive as well as 60 minutes of Skype calls per month.
A Word from the Future
With the advent of cloud-based, heavily synced Office suite, Office 2013 is having a great potential of leading the industry. Gone are the days that one has to transfer the files in USB drives, burn to an optical disk, or attaching them to emails to continue working in a different machine or bringing home the unfinished job.
An internet connection is the only thing needed and Microsoft made it much easier with its integration of its various services.
Jasper Dela Cruz and Joyce DR are business bloggers. They blog for officekonsulenterne.dk. They focus on equipping business owners with business software knowledge. Aside from blogging, Jasper is also a toy enthusiast.
Photo Credit: surely