There is nothing in this world that cannot be improved, and if someone tells you otherwise, they’re probably trying to sell you something or are just oblivious. That being said, Microsoft’s recent release of the 15th reiteration of Microsoft Office doesn’t lack some handy new features. But if you are already using the previous version of Microsoft Office (2010), it’s worth weighing the new benefits of Microsoft Office 2013 versus the cost of upgrading.
Before I begin, I should let you know I’m basing this article off of Microsoft’s own video entitle What’s new in Office 2013 which highlight’s features of Office 2013 as a whole, not individual Office products. So what’s new?
Saving documents in the cloud
This is a super useful feature that has the potential of making collaborating and backing up important documents nearly seamless. Except Office 2010 also has this feature, so it’s not really exclusive to Office 2013. If you click the File tab and click Save & Send, you’ll notice there is a Save to Web feature. This saves it to your Skydrive, just like in Office 2013.
If you buy Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2013, you get an additional app called Lync. This is basically Microsoft’s corporate version of the discontinued Windows Live Messenger, but with a bit more functionality such as sharing documents and presenting with PowerPoint to multiple people. Though I’ve haven’t used it, it seems to be a pretty slick app. The only major flaw is that all attendee’s need to have Lync installed on their computer, which shouldn’t be a problem if it’s an internal meeting where all office computers have it installed by default. But if you’re trying to reach out to someone outside of your organization, there is a slim chance that they are using Office Professional Plus 2013.
Improved Save As and Open
This feature basically removes all the windows you need to go through to open a file. It’s a nice feature, but definitely not a game-changer. It’s the equivalent of adding an air freshener to your car. It helps, but do you really need it?
This feature actually has a lot of potential. Instead of emailing documents back and forth, having several versions of a single document flying around, you can simply share the document with someone else via SkyDrive, hopefully eliminating the need to email the same document over and over.
It’s also worth mentioning Microsoft’s subscription version of Office 2013. Basically you pay $10 to $15 per month instead of one lump sum and have full access to Office 2013, and it even includes a cloud version when needed – very cool.
While the features mentioned are specific only to the suite as a whole, there are many other new features for individual apps which I won’t get into here for the sake of brevity. But is it worth the upgrade? In 99% of cases, definitely not. (In very few cases it’s worth the upgrade, which you can get here: Microsoft Office 2013.)Yes, there are some awesome new features, but they’re definitely not worth the $$$$ to upgrade, especially if you’re currently using Office 2010.
Agree or disagree? Let me know in the comments!