This is going to be a tremendous year for Microsoft. Steve Ballmer equates this year to when Windows 95 was released by saying:
“The new, modern Office will deliver unparalleled productivity and flexibility for both consumers and business customers. It is a cloud service and will fully light-up when paired with Windows 8.”
To that end, almost every product is getting revamped and while Windows 8 will be the focus of many, Office is a suite of products that, as Steve points out is crucial to not only consumers but also enterprise users. Therefore, when a new version of Office is announced, it’s a big deal.
Having just finished a training engagement on Office 2010 there will no doubt be questions surrounding functionality but I believe the learning curve from Office 2010 to 2013 will be small. Certainly much smaller than from Office 2003 to 2010 as the Ribbon played in large part to some confusion on where certain features were. Of course the Ribbon was a necessity as the old paradigm of menu's, sub-menu's and toolbars just couldn't scale with the introduction of so many new features. That said, there is a whole host of changes (notwithstanding the UI) that the new versions of Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Access and OneNote bring with them.
I certainly couldn’t do them all justice by naming each one but here’s a high level overview of what to expect:
Office at Its Best on Windows 8
Office Is in the Cloud
Office Is Social
I encourage you to try the new Office and submit your feedback.