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back to article Microsoft offers 60-day free trial of Office 2013

Microsoft is now offering a free 60-day trial of Office 2013 Professional Plus, the next generation of its nigh-ubiquitous desktop productivity suite, via its TechNet Evaluation Center website. Office 2013 entered the Release To Manufacturing (RTM) phase in October, and the final code has been available to Microsoft Developer …

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Anonymous Coward

free trial of a new file format?

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Following convention, 2012 should have been the Windows version, and 2013 the Mac version.

The MS website says if you buy Office 2011 Mac now you get the next version free, so I wonder if they will homologate both on 2013?

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Stop

Upgrade? I don't need no stinkin upgrade!

Office 97 Pro still does everything I need. Don't expect to change that unless I have serious problems with file format compatibility.

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Re: Upgrade? I don't need no stinkin upgrade!

Problem with that is that it can't open DOCX or ODF files.

MS are going to start losing the home users as stuff like Google Office and Libre Office become more polished and feature filled.

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Anonymous Coward

@Mark C Casey - Re: Upgrade? I don't need no stinkin upgrade!

Why bother using MS Office 2nnn to open ODF files ? Instead of prolonging vendor lock-in go strait with Open Office or Libre Office and don't look back.

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FAIL

Re: @Mark C Casey - Upgrade? I don't need no stinkin upgrade!

LibreOffice? Bollocks to that. Give me Ulysses or Scrivener any day of the week. I write for a living, not as a hobby. If you want me to use your writing tool, it had better be much better than what I'm already using. A mediocre MS Word clone isn't going to interest me; I already have MS Word, and it's demonstrably the better tool.

That is how you disrupt markets: by producing something so much better than the competition – rewriting the rulebook if necessary – that choosing your product becomes a no-brainer. This is how Apple went from near-bankrupt basket-case in the late '90s, to one of the most successful business on the planet, in little over a decade.

Nor is Office going to be killed by some amateurish knock-off that barely beats the late, unlamented Microsoft Works for usability and misses the key selling point of Microsoft's Office suite: easy extensibility. You can bend Office to almost any corporate workflow's whims, automating many processes along the way. Neither of the bickering children that purport to be its "rival" come anywhere near close to offering such features.

Sure, OO and LO are "open source", but you'd have to provide your own support – or buy it in from a third party – to take advantage of that and have programmers messing about with the engine itself, rather than sticking bits onto the car. MS Office already has a massive ecosystem of VBA experts ready and willing to do the customising you need for a fraction of the price of changing the tools themselves.

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Re: Upgrade? I don't need no stinkin upgrade!

Certainly does handle DOCX - theres a tool you can download from Microsoft. I rarely need it anyway, and have yet to see an ODF file.

I did say I would change (not necessarily upgrade) when file format became a problem

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700MB download

I don't get it,

I have the 2013 preview installed and the initial download was 489KB.

Then running the install downloads the rest of the suite as it installs. Don't tell me they've got rid of this option for the final release and are making people download the whole product.

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Re: 700MB download

The Office 2013 Preview was actually a preview of Office 365 with Office 2013. The thing you get from TechNet is Office 2013 Professional Plus, the kind you get in a box from the store. It's a subtle distinction, maybe, because the apps are supposed to be identical either way. The only real difference is in the new download method, which you only get with Office 365.

It makes sense if you think about it. When the new Office launches, if you subscribe to Office 365, you will be able to download the final version of Office 2013 using Microsoft's application streaming, the same way you did with the Preview. If you buy Office 2013 Professional Plus, on the other hand, you won't need to download anything, because you'll have a DVD.

If, on the other hand, you plan to get Office 2013 from MSDN or TechNet, then what you're getting is an .ISO file of the DVD, so you need to download the whole thing at once, as in this preview.

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Stop

Re: 700MB download

Enterprises have no interest in online installers - they want 700mb of CABs to push out from a local source.

I know I would, at least....

Steven R

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Or...

One can just download LibreOffice and use that. Works with 'docx' style files quite nicely. Price for the fully licensed version is quite attractive as well.

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Thumb Down

Re: Or...

Craap for most business users though. Lack of a good integrated Outlook equivalent is a major draw back for me. Thunderbird and Evolution are poor.

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Re: Or...

It is NOT MS office that ties busines to MS Word/Excel etc but MS Outlook and its integration to MS Communicator and also the MS Office suite. MS Outlook is the tie in , not the word processor /spreadsheet. The MS Office bit is supplementary to MS Windows/MS outlook for most businesses.

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Just Installed it on Windows 8

Since I'm already running the Win8 90 day trial I didn't see any more risk installing this. After the install it popped up the initial word first time in a full screen mode and I thought 'Oh shit, it's going to act like a Metro app on Win 8!'. Luckily my first impression was wrong. It is a standard run of the mill program.

Now that said, I've not used Word 2007 or 2010 that much, so it's quite a bit different from the Open Office I use regularly. If you've used the more modern versions for daily work, I don't think it's that much different. The default color scheme is very pale (or bright white depending on your view), I opted to change its appearance (theme) to a dark grey so I could tell my work zone apart from the application.

Office is directly integrated in to a Windows Live account, and when clicking save, allows you to save directly in to a Skydrive (or to your own hard drive if you so choose). If your internet connection is flaky, clicking browse on the Skydrive can lock up the Office interface for quite a while. There is an option for "Add a Place' that gives the options for another skydrive or sharepoint, hopefully there will be a way to add a Google drive in the future if Microsoft lets us have a way. All this said, I'd like to know how Office behaves when I'm offline, and it would be nice to know what it is randomly sending back to the mothership.

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Mushroom

Maybe I am just getting stupider as I get older..

The more I read about the MOMCSRPCS (Management of Micrsofts chaotic software release product cycle schedules), their short IT shelf lives, and the never ending upgrade cycles, which aside from the cash cow aspect - rather than genuine innovative basis, the more I find:

a) Goose Quills and soot based ink; and

b) Old Ribbon type writers; and

c) Unfired clay tablets; and

d) Pencils, erasers and note pads etc...

The more Microsoft's never ending cash grabbing bullshit, looks like all the excuses that we really need to go retro in a big way.

I mean just how "fluffed up and full of shit" would all the annual reports be if the same people who dreamed up the crap, had to manually indent thousands of clay tables with a cuniform indenture, Babylonian style?

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It is very weird they don't even support their own stuff (Silverlight / Windows Media DRM) in Metro but they do support Adobe's crappy flash.

It is also annoying you cannot make metro just keep an app open on a single monitor (You use start on the other then it drops to the desktop). If I am doing this wrong then I would really like a solution.

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"It is also annoying you cannot make metro just keep an app open on a single monitor (You use start on the other then it drops to the desktop). If I am doing this wrong then I would really like a solution."

I'm not sure if I'm reading the above right. You can't have a different Metro app running on each monitor (with the exception that Desktop is a metro app in a way), if that's what you mean. But it sounds like you just want to keep a metro app open and running on one screen whilst you use Desktop normally on the other? If that's the case then this is possible. The problem seems to be you using Start on the other monitor. I'm not sure what you're trying to accomplish with that, but if you launch the Start Screen from the smart corner on a given monitor, then that monitor is where the Start Screen will appear along with any Metro apps. Basically, Metro runs on one monitor only. When you use the smart corner to launch it on a monitor, you're telling it that this is the monitor you want to use for Metro.

Say that I want the financial app running on one screen and my normal desktop on the other. I hit the Windows key to get the Start Screen, and click on the financial app. It then appears on that monitor and stays there. I can then move my mouse across to the other monitor, which still has the Desktop on it, and do whatever I normally would. If I had wanted the app on the other monitor, I would simply launch the Start Screen on that monitor instead.

The nice thing is that if I want that Financial app running, say on the left monitor, I will drag (from the top) and drop it to the very left of the screen and dock it there. The moment I click back on the Desktop, I now have the actual desktop taking up 1 and 3/4s of my monitor space with the finance app just being an active sidebar on the left of my left monitor. Which is a nice way to monitor things while I work (finance, emails, whatever).

Hope that helps. If I misunderstood what you're asking, just let me know.

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Mushroom

What a crock of shit office 2013 is

I've tried this and I have to say usability has gone south in a big way. The default colour scheme, well, isn't. It's like Microsoft has taken 20 or so years of ui design and just ignored it. It's all just white lines with little or no shading and it's very hard indeed to differentiate between the crappy ribbon bar thing and your actual work area. I'd have understood if it took its visual cues from the functionally crippled but nevertheless colourful "modern" or "metro" or whatever it's called interface so beloved of Microsoft who can't tell the difference between a 4" phone and a 24" monitor, but it doesn't. The only improvement I can see is that lines seem to scroll smoothly in a fairly pointless sort of way. What really gets me about windows 8 and office 2013 is that for the average home user or typical small business it decreases usability and productivity. Two examples in Windows 8: for those of us used to clicking a start button or menu button to turn off a computer, find the "turn off computer" item. And another one : for those of us used to clicking on start and typing "update", where is windows update? It's not obvious and I've asked both technically literate people and ordinary folk these questions and they've been stumped. Microsoft: some people are normal, get over it.

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Re: What a crock of shit office 2013 is

I'm running Win8 right now and happy to help...

"for those of us used to clicking on start and typing "update", where is windows update?"

Two options. If you want to do it the old-fashioned way, go to the Start Screen (e.g. just tap the WinKey) then type 'con' for control panel. It's in there in the same place as it was in Win7. Alternately, just open the Charms menu and click on Settings, then "Change PC Settings" at the bottom. It's on the menu that comes up.

"Two examples in Windows 8: for those of us used to clicking a start button or menu button to turn off a computer, find the "turn off computer" item"

Again, open the Charms menu (stupid name, I know), and click on Settings. There's a power-off button under there.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What a crock of shit office 2013 is @h4rm0ny

Yes you will find other items such as the steering wheel now located in the boot, the accelerator pedal in the glovebox, the handbrake in the rear passenger seat and the accelerator in the front passenger seat.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What a crock of shit office 2013 is

Nice explanation but you are the straw that broke the camel's back, i.e. you just helped me to decide to stay well away from Windows 8, and for an additional reason...

One of my Nokia phones recently broke and I was looking to replace it, waiting for win 8 phone. But then I decide that because I need 2 phones, I went for a dual SIM. Only Android seems to offer dual SIM support and only on a small number of phones that are available as dual SIM (e.g Alcatel, Samsung). So I have just ended up with an Android dual SIM phone, very nice it is too. I have also experienced how good Android is and now I am really interested to get an Asus 300 / 600 tablet or similar with detachable keyboard and use it rather than Windows. Not sure if I can cover all the bases with Android for business productivity but I am seriously hacked off with MS.

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Re: What a crock of shit office 2013 is

And unsurprisingly, downvotes for a post that merely answers someone's questions about how to do something in Windows 8. Some people's need to have Windows 8 be perceived as bad is trumping any actual respect for providing information on these forums.

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Re: What a crock of shit office 2013 is

"Nice explanation but you are the straw that broke the camel's back, i.e. you just helped me to decide to stay well away from Windows 8, and for an additional reason..."

I am completely at a loss as to how my showing you how to do a couple of things (launch the Windows updates and power down the PC, has helped you to decide to stay well away from Windows 8. It's a few clicks to do each (or you can use keyboard shortcuts). Why are these problematic for you?

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FAIL

Re: What a crock of shit office 2013 is

"Again, open the Charms menu (stupid name, I know), and click on Settings. There's a power-off button under there."

You mean hover over the invisible spot (but don't click!) then move over the sort of gear thing (now you have to click), now click on the power thing, then click shut down.

See? Dead easy, why would anyone have trouble finding that?

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Re: What a crock of shit office 2013 is

"You mean hover over the invisible spot (but don't click!) then move over the sort of gear thing (now you have to click), now click on the power thing, then click shut down."

Despite your attempt above to make it sound complicated and obscure, what it boils down to is move the mouse to the right-hand side, something that most of us would only have to learn once so is irrelvant after that, then click on the "sort of gear thing" that actually has what it is written underneath it, and then click on the power icon which is the same as it has always been and also has the word "Power" written underneath it.

So basically, mouse move and two clicks. Doesn't sound so bad now, does it?

"See? Dead easy, why would anyone have trouble finding that?"

I don't know. Perhaps they should spend quarter of an hour sitting next to a bunch of ten year olds who are able to manage to shut it down and do other things on the PC too, and then question whether their inability to remember which side of the screen brings up the menu is actually proving Windows 8 is complicated, or if it's possibly proving something else.

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@h4rm0ny

or click Start Screen (or the Windows key) and type "update". Then select "settings" from the right-hand menu and then select "Windows Update" or "Check for updates" (depending on which is applicable) and there it is.

I await my three downvotes for providing information.

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Joke

Re: @h4rm0ny

"or click Start Screen (or the Windows key) and type "update". Then select "settings" from the right-hand menu and then select "Windows Update" or "Check for updates" (depending on which is applicable) and there it is."

Very true. But the poster I was replying to was having trouble moving the mouse to the right of the screen. I was planning to work my way up to introducing them to the keyboard. ;)

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FAIL

Free trial also includes complimentary sunglasses and headache tablets

What shade of brilliant white does this version come in?

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Anonymous Coward

Trial as in Franz Kafka

You too can now experience the paranoia, terror, bewilderment and sheer not knowing what the fuck is going on as did Josef K by experiencing our new Office 2013 Trial today. Now available at all good bookstalls for the amazing price of only your first born child.

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Anonymous Coward

Looks like a pretty good set of incremental improvements, they've made the themes more obvious which is nice as I hadn't noticed them in word 2010, they've made a lot of the more complex formulas in excel far easier and more obvious to use, I like the new lay out. I like the improved skydrive integration too. I only played around with it a bit last night though.

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Ribbon?

Does 2013 still have the "I'm a dumbfuck, show me pretty pictures coz I can't read" Ribbon? If so MS ain't getting my money. Office 2003 was about as good as it got.

I use 2010 every day at work and have done for over a year and I still can never find functionality when i need it without resorting to a Google search. If they don't deliver what I need soon then I'll get LibreOffice, or one of the other OpenSource office packages. Who the hell needs an "Office" suite that can edit web pages, login to Twatbook, have your babies, and arrange WORLD PEACE. I just want one that will let me write a letter, run a spreadsheet and check my emails.

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