back to article Behold: First look at Office 2013, with screenshots

Microsoft announced the details of Office 2013 at noon on Monday, San Francisco time, so your humble Reg hacks have only had it their sweaty paws for a few hours, but it's not too soon to give some first impressions of the suite, and in particular its revamped UI. The first thing you notice when launching any of the Office 2013 …

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Anonymous Coward

Re: sarcasm

Dear God no not Zimbra. Have you tried to deploy it in a corporate environment on terminal servers? Unless you can persuade the users to use the web ui (which nobody ever likes), you have to work in cached mode (zimbra client or Outlook connector). There is no online alternative. This caches the mailbox into a renamed PST. Worse, if you share other peoples mailboxes, it caches them as well. If you want a farm of terminal servers, you can try putting the cached ZDB files onto a network share (where they will break), or you can cache them for every user on every terminal server. Before long the amount of disk space you need more than outweighs the cost of the Exchange licensing! Zimbra just say there are no plans for an online mode. Until there is, it is a toy.

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FAIL

MS Office is cheaper for schools ...

Yes - but you wouldn't need a Linux genius to go the other way. Just someone with equal competence to Windows. Except they are rare because only Windows & MS Apps are taught in most schools. Microsoft gets back far more than it gives you in subsidising the training in its products for its profit. MS has a stranglehold on the education sector and that is fundamental for it keeping a stranglehold on corporations - at the taxpayer's expense.

End educational subsidies and I think we wouuld find education taking a more realistic view of the products it licensed. The knock-on effect could be beneficial to society (MS shareholders excepted).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: MS Office is cheaper for schools ...

When my older son went to secondary school it was all MS Office (and most of "IT" seemed to be how to use Office) - however, 4 years later when my younger son went to the school last year they'd switched to google apps ... not sure if this is necessarily an improvement though!

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Re: MS Office is cheaper for schools ...

When I reached Secondary School the IT was taught on Macs, Clarisworks giving us the grounding of office applications.

Then Win95/Office95 replaced these.

By the time I reached university, Red Hat with an early version of OpenOffice.org was installed in the labs. I recall it being quite unreliable: save often was the rule!

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Holmes

Re: MS Office is cheaper for schools ...

save often was the rule!

Save often IS the rule regardless of platform. The first thing I do when I get an office equipped PC is to turn on autosave and set it to 5 minutes.

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Re: MS Office is cheaper for schools ...

All my keyboards have had the print rubbed off most of the keys. Ctrl and S are the first to go.

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Re: sarcasm

"I know the vein is sarcastic but sometimes the M$ option is cheaper. Schools pay roughly £30 per year per full time member of staff for windows 7, office 2010 and core CALS (inc exchange). For a typicaly 150 staff school of 1000 pupils and 500PCs thats a bargain. So just over 5k gets you a handful of 2008R2 servers, exchange, TMG, external connector and an SQL server. For another 1k you get SCCM and AV and all the trimmings if you so wished. All of this can be administered by a smaller number of staff and I dont need a linux guru (or their wages) to worry about."

Of course, you know why Microsoft sells to schools at substantially below cost - to try and lock in the user base at an early age. Give me a child from the age of 5, etc...

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JDX
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W8 only? Skype?

So is this only going to run on Windows8, that would be a bit unusual for MS?

And where is the Skype integration we've heard so much about?

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Re: W8 only? Skype?

I imagine Skype is still coming, and will somehow be baked into Lync. The Lync and OneNote previews are just re-skinned 2010 versions, and are absolutely not the versions that will be released with Office 2013.

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Re: W8 only? Skype?

"So is this only going to run on Windows8, that would be a bit unusual for MS?"

No. It works on Windows 7 as well (but not XP). Includes the same features as well as far as I know. Even the streaming Office works on Win 7 so you don't actually have to install it / spend a licence for it if you want to run it on someone else's machine temporarily.

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Yuk

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Meh

meh

thats all

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QXL
WTF?

Think I'll be sticking with the 2010 versions ...

Finally gotten used to all the UI changes with the ribbon etc then they do this. I opened the full screen preview of the new UI and it gave me a headache just looking at it for 30 seconds. God knows what'll be like after a full day of using it.

So I'll be sticking with the 2010 versions of everything which still have some contrast between the content and the toolbars so your eyes know where they should be resting.

Have they given the work experience kid the job of designing the new style? Looks like things have gone backwards 20 odd years.

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Re: Think I'll be sticking with the 2010 versions ...

My MS Office 2000 installation CD still works and installs (on Win2KPro, XP and W7) with no need for online registration/activation. I don't understand all the fuss about newer versions.

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Boffin

Toolbars that SCREAM at you

I'm sorry, but I'm not a fan of ALL CAPS. It feels like Office is SCREAMING at me. And I DON'T like it.

Office 2013? Join Win8 in the rubbish queue, please.

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Pint

Re: Toolbars that SCREAM at you

Exactly - a UI shouldn't SHOUT at you, especially first thing in the morning when you're still feeling a bit delicate.

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FAIL

Re: Toolbars that SCREAM at you

Using caps has nothing to do with shouting. I don't view an email or text written in caps a s shouting. If you do , that's your problem as a nerd. Maybe you have aspergers and created a rule for yourself, that you now can't break.... funny you can't accept change in an interface, but expect millions of office workers to accept change in a whole office suite.

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More UI Fail

...but that's what you get when you have a top down idiocracy such that MS operates.

You'd have thought that the idiots would have at least taken into account some of the developers concerns with Visual Studio but no. After all, these are the people at the cutting edge of trying to make stuff on Windows and there are a lot of very talented UI designers in there.

But no, mobile device touch screen focused, bland, ugly, barely usable, unfriendly and unwieldly user interfaces are what has been dictated from on high so that's what we're going to get.

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FAIL

That UI

I thought Windows 7 looked quite nice. I used it for a few months, but was relieved to go back to Ubuntu, which always seemed to need one less click for any particular operation than Win 7. But, for looks, it was nice.

But those screenshots of the new Office on Win 8 are just horrible. I have them full-screen, and I cannot imagine how awful it would be to look at that UI every day. What are they thinking?

All you Windows users have my sympathy.

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FAIL

Re: That UI

Is Vole having a laugh?

No, but seriously, that may actually be the worst UI I've ever seen, and that's coming from a guy who still has very clear memories of early 8 and 16 bit home computers.

They've completely lost the plot.

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Metro aesthetic..

.. Does anyone like it?

It's bland, bland, bland, and all caps in the ribbon? Just foul.

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Re: Metro aesthetic..

All caps

Change for the sake of change, probably what MickeySoft call a exciting new UI.

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WTF?

Re: Metro aesthetic..

It's not just bland, it's dumb.

The whole point of sensible UI design is that buttons look like buttons. You intuitively know what you can click on and what you can't. This new "streamlined" UI has ripped out most of the visual cues which make the UI intuitive and so make it look both ugly _and_ unintuitive. That takes, um ... skill ...

For a company that has built and empire on legacy inertia and tools that are so easy my mum (i.e. the average office drone who doesn't have any formal PC training at all) can use them, they certainly seem to be trying very hard to take their competitive advantage and drive the biggest stake they can find through it.

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Actually, I like it

And I like the Win 8 Metro interface too. I've been using it for a while. Having just spent a week at the WPC last week, watching all the up and comming releases and changes, the amount of work Microsoft are doing this next year is staggering in its scale. Good luck to them I say.

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Devil

Re: Actually, I like it

Successful troll is successful.

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Headmaster

Actually the visual difference is in practice not that great.

I downloaded the beta myself and installed it on our Win7 box in the front room. Using it as a keyboard/mouse package is to all practical intents and purposes little different from using 2010 (let us please not discuss the ribbon -:P). Unless you actually install it on a touch device you will not, in practice, notice any of the touch-UI optimisation. The package is no more/no less usable on a conventional pc than the previous version and the implication in the headline that it has been "metroed" is, to say it mildly, somewhat exaggerated. It has some new/extra features that the individual user may find useful but if you did not like 2010 you are not going to feel any friendlier towards this version.

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Anonymous Coward

More eye tests needed in future me thinks...

I really don't get it. All that white blending the top bar, ribbon bar, document. Your eyes are going to be ultimately strained searching for what it wants on the screen. Okay, it looks clean but its clean M$'s UI designers have lost any sense in basic UI design.

And the use of captials in the ribbon? Wow. Let me poke my eyes out before this crap gets to them.

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Luddite alert!

Ok, so I still prefer 2003, and the button bar simplicity of it all. Maybe it's because I'm a simpleton, and I do simple stuff, up to and including mail merges.

This just looks like...a f*ing mess. Look at all that crap - buttons, pullsdowns, menus...total overload. ooh, so MS chose a simplier font...sorry guys but that doesn't disguise the barrage of buttonry on the screen, and the learning curve to make use/find everything.

Still nothing here to tempt me to upgrade. So until Office starts writing my letters for me telepathically, I'll stick to 2003.

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Re: Luddite alert!

My users don't want to upgrade past 2003, and I can't see the point in spending money (especially in the current economic climate!) to force them to use a product they don't want.

I really do wonder why Microsoft is screwing themselves this way. They even advertised themselves as being "people ready" for goodness sake, they must realise that they are in very real danger of losing a significant proportion of their office customers because of it, I know that it's not just us.

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Don't know why it's taken me so long to notice but *at first glance* those snapshots look like a typical Google web app. The same monochromatic colouring, the same bare straight lines, the same flat blocks of colour.

Are Microsoft really that frightened of Google they'll copy an interface design I find cryptic, confusing and often pointlessly inefficient? While keeping all the worst offenders in their own toolkit like the ribbon - a game of 'Where's Wally' played with app functions!

Are they all in a race to see who can simplify their UI the most, regardless of what that does to usability?

...and in case anyone wondered, I find Googles version slightly less fugly than Metro. So very fugly rather than extremely fugly...

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I had the same thought about Google web apps. Very similar style. What it looks like is if somebody tried to emulate Office 2010 in a browser. Dreadful (and I'm no ribbon-hater). But I suppose we'll all get it in time, those of us happy wage-slaves working for large organisations. Joy oh joy.

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UI freaking monster

Geez, what a terrible thing. Worst UI since VT100, really, which incidentally, didn't shout at us ...

So what next with you, crazy Dr. Microsoft, eh ? SMS-like menu maybe, in ALL-CAPS, with LOLZ ? I don't think this has been done and this would be truly awfull.

I'll be anyway looking forward to see this, and be sure this will be through a MacBook, with a proper OS and LibreOffice, where we still have "Print" under the "File" menu.

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Re: UI freaking monster

As usual, MS are trying and totally failing to be Internetz-cool.

Where are the lolcats? The advice animals? The Nyan cat theme? The rage faces?

So much for understanding the needs of their audience. [rolls eyes]

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Re: UI freaking monster

*snort* I have respect for people supporting open alternatives like Linux, but I've got to laugh when it turns out you're using a *Mac*. Sorry, you're not different - you're still supporting a big company, a closed source OS that is no more "proper", and a company that is pushing a dumbed down OS that's far more a UI disaster than anything shown here.

If you're running Linux only on that Macbook, fair enough - but then I wonder why you felt the need to advertise what PC you'd be using. Oh, and I have Print under the File menu in Office under Windows (not that I'm sure why that makes sense, anyway).

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Facepalm

Re: UI freaking monster

Yes, i know Apple is a big company, yes I know their last problem was how to cope with a 100 bn USD of cash, yes they're pissing me off when they steal half the price of an Ipod Touch from me to replace it because of a broken screen.

I'm not trying to be different, I just want to use a tool (dektop/laptop UI) which is consistent across its various evolutions. This fails with the current Balmer MS non-sense.

Linux is good, but it's never coming for good to the desktop/laptop, unfortunately.

Neither you or me will force the IT business into non-profit, so it's probably wiser to leave this Linux debate, the sole point being which tool to use or not use, in order to keep our sanity intact.

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Anonymous Coward

Bloatware

Word is the most complicated, poorly laid out piece of software. It tries to do so much 'for you', wanting to do anything different from what it prescribes you just leads to you pulling your hair out.

Using InDesign is a breeze compared to what Word has become.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Bloatware

InDesign -> £1200

Word -> £60, less in volume

Not _exactly_ comparing like with like are we ...

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jai
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facebook? twitter? required cloud integration?

None of these things will get this past our approval board. There's no way we're going to be rolling that out here unless it's easy to lock it down to only work within our network.

This, like Win8, seems to geared much more towards the small business or home user. MS doesn't seem to be at all interested in selling to the large enterprises any more, maybe they figure they don't need to because we'll all have to upgrade as soon as they pull support for XP and Office 2007 (which we only rolled out to everyone last year - we're not exactly what you'd call early adopters here).

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Re: facebook? twitter? required cloud integration?

Facebook integration is just an option. Twitter is just an option. I have accounts on neither and work just fine on Office 2013 so far. Required cloud integration is both optional and you don't have to use Skydrive as your cloud. You can provide your own if you want the features but not to use MS's service.

All of the above is easily checked by a quick search or reading of their information.

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Oh Joy

Hmm another reason to move on to OSX.

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FAIL

Re: Oh Joy

dick

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WTF?

Re: Oh Joy @ Boris

Wow. Typed that elegantly intelectual response in Office 2013 I see...

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Re: Oh Joy @ Boris

Hello! It looks like you're trying to troll on the internet...

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Happy

@Tom 38 Re: Oh Joy @ Boris

ROFLMAO... kudos to you sir for remembering Clippit *positively*!

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Re: @Tom 38 Oh Joy @ Boris

And kudos to Anonymous Dutch Coward for remembering it was Clippit, not Clippy.

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Meh

Immediate response

Really not buying that interface (or W8's) and worried that I'm just heading into the "I don't like change!" period of my life. But looking at it, I'm reminded of the Aero theme that was meant to gently focus your eyes on the action on the screen, namely the content (have a look at it, the inactive sections fade out of immediate view, usually with the glass effect). This was originally touted as deliberate by MS, so I'd ask what's changed? Looking at that screen shot, it appears too "busy" as nothing steals focus.

Really concerned MS are killing the goose this time, though I recall similar responses to the Ribbon UI...

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Windows

Ugly

I'm sorry to make such a non-technical comment, but that's the word that went through my head as I saw the screenshots. All caps Arial captions and flattened white ribbon? It looks like something I (a person mostly devoid of design skills) would have made as the beta version to show off functionality, rather than a finished product. In other words, not so much of a new design as a lack of one, in my opinion.

That makes me think... Maybe Steve and Stephen simply fired all the designers? I think that that's the most logical answer to how the new products ended up so underdesigned and so poorly visually integrated with what still exists in their products (Word is Metro, and Word's own Open dialog isn't).

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Anonymous Coward

The UI is hideous and trying to proscribe cloud upon businesses is only going to end in tears... or do they think all their Office customers are individual users?

It's all well and good only thinking of enterprise ever other OS release but not Office.

My (Fortune 500) employer won't be rushing to adopt this, we're still gradually getting everyone on ribbed versions of Office, there's no fucking way we're going to do the whole cloud bollocks.

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