Microsoft today revealed the next important brick in its Windows 8 castle, the latest version of its Office suite of productivity tools.
Technically the 15th version of the software, collectively, the new tools will be known as Office 2013 and will deliver most of what users have come to rely on, with a smattering of the new Windows 8 flavour. In fact, Microsoft has doubled the size of the design team working on the Office product, up to 170 designers, to give this latest version an experience that users can become emotionally involved with.
Beyond just looking good, Office is now designed with touchscreen interfaces in mind, and the way the users interacts with this new software, strongly reflects this. The taskbar across the top of the screen now has a flatter appearance and is more touch-friendly in sizing. The Ribbon menu below this remains much the same, but there is now an option to collapse the Ribbon and give back screen real estate to the document you are working on.
As we've seen with Windows 8 previously, user settings are saved to the cloud in Office 2013, so that when you log in from a different device, a phone or a tablet perhaps, your favourites, recent documents, settings and formatting travel with you.
If you want to try out the new Office for yourself, Microsoft has released a consumer preview that you can download now.