Office 2013: Quick links and quick first impressions

Microsoft unveiled its new services first Office 2013 family today, unveiling a touch enabled, Office Apps ready, and cloud connected version of Office. Microsoft CEO and Microsoft Office President Kurt DelBene introduced Office 2013, showed off the touch and ink capabilities on devices small and large (DelBene showed off a giant screen running Windows 8 from newly acquired Perceptive Pixel, and on Samsung – not Microsoft Surface – tablets).

While we’re already experiencing a few bugs with Office, even in opening their Fact Sheets, Microsoft has made available lots of press (and enthusiast) information. But overall, the screens are clean and bright, the ribbon seems to be more “built in” and less of a kludge on top of the page, the use of color in the ribbon is clean, too, and a quick look says that we may just like begin to like Office again.  We’re even getting the hang of aligning images, something that we appreciated Windows Live Writer doing for us.  And posting this up to our server is fast, probably 3x as fast as Writer, at least.  Now if we can get off of Windows Live Mail and get to like Outlook, we’ll really be impressed!

So, to get started, first, if you’re on Windows 7 or Windows 8, you can download single copies of Office applications, or the new set of suites as a set of Customer Previews.

From there, there’s a Press Release, of course, a set of Fact Sheets, and a set of Office 15 logos and screenshots.

We’re going to be hearing a lot about Office 2013 coming up from the new Office Next blog, and from all over Microsoft, with interesting new products like Office 365 Home Premium, which will include access for up to 5 users, 60 minutes of Skype time, and an additional 20gb of SkyDrive storage when it goes final:

Best for families who want Office on up to 5 household PCs or tablets

Sign in to your Office account for full access to services, including:

  • A personalized Office experience on up to 5 PCs or tablets.
  • Powerful new versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Publisher, and Access.
  • Streaming full versions of Office applications with Office on Demand (PC running Windows 7 or 8 and Internet connection required).
  • If you’re also trying Windows 8 Release Preview, be sure to check out the OneNote Preview in the Windows Store. Keep your notes, pictures, voice memos, and web pages in one easy to access place so you have them when you need them.
  • Coming soon, with the full release of Office 365 Home Premium:
    • Talk to anyone using Skype, including 60 minutes of free international calls every month to landlines in over 40 countries and to cell phones in 7 countries. (Skype account required. Excludes special, premium and non-geographic numbers.)
    • Get an additional 20 GB of SkyDrive online storage for easy access and sharing of your documents.
    • Office for Mac

Will it make Windows 8 (and Windows Phone, and the Microsoft Surface) more compelling? Are you ready to move to Office 2013?