Office 2013 beta launch – Live Blog from Steve Ballmers Announcement

As Stevie B announces the latest release of Office 15 – I am going to toast my fingers and live blog it as it rolls of his tongue. Oh yeah, in case you didn’t get the link :

The man himself is on time – It’s definitely an Office presentation – no surprises there 😉


  • Bigging up Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, Surface, XBox.
  • Yammer Purchase – more later.
  • Bing – new version update.
  • Server team – new SQL, new Bing.

Office and what’s coming up ?

  • Microsoft Office is still the “flagship” application, biggest seller.
  • Students are using Office more and more.
  • This will be the first round of Office to be offered as a “Service”.
  • Office is taking it’s look from Metro.
  • Will support touch, inking.
  • Office will save to the cloud, documents, settings, configuration.
  • Social is now fully integrated – with Skype, more collaboration.
  • Overhaul of meetings and Notes

Demo Part 1 : Touch

  • Kurt shows off PowerPoint on a Samsung Tablet running Windows 8.
  • PowerPoint gets touch, and a digital pen for annotation.
  • The PowerPoint Presenter now gets a cool new “cockpit” that the audience can’t see – guides presenter.
  • In-Line Reply in Outlook allows message to be replied “in – line”. less clicks.
  • “Peeks” looks like a horizontal menu showing “Calendar”, “People”, “Tasks”, etc..
  • Developers can now build applications in the Cloud and can be consumed straight into Office. Clients (Hello App Store).
  • Example of an App – Bing Map app scanning an email to show maps of contacts.
  • 2 New Apps in this release : Lync and OneNote are it!
  • OneNote gets “inking”. The App looks VERY Cool and a great use for Surface Tablet.
  • You can use the digital pen to annotate on pretty much anything in OneNote.
  • There’s a new “Radial Wheel”, which is a circular tool bar. obviously for “touch”.
  • Nice example of taking a picture, cutting it up and easily popping it into OneNote all using gesture.

Demo Part 2 : Cloud

  • Once you are “signed in” to, your profile, templates, settings, dictionaries all “roam” and are stored in the Cloud on SkyDrive. These are then read by wherever and on whatever you run Office on.
  • Word Reading Mode : A new way of viewing documents for “Reading” – it will resize and give the view for the device and experience. This looks like a big venture into the E-Books Market.
  • Word Reading Mode : You can see annotations on docs / books / videos / images from other users.
  • “Live Layout” – allows you drag and see what the layout will be as you drag. Text wraps around image was the example.
  • Going to be able to publish docs to FB, social networks, etc..
  • You can now “save to Office” in the cloud (via SkyDrive), which means you can now work easily at home on docs. (Not sure what big corporations will feel about the security side of things!).
  • Welcome Toast – allows you pick up where you left of no matter what device you were on. Phone, Tablet, PC.

Demo Part 3: Office as Social (SharePoint)

  • Quick mention of Yammer – but straight into SharePoint 😉
  • SharePoint has a cleaner interface.
  • SharePoint will suggest documents to follow, based on previous.
  • You can now do “Likes”, “Replies” on SP Content.
  • You can post videos up as social comments.
  • Looks like Threaded discussions.
  • You now have “presence” in-line via the “People Card”. This is a pop-up of someones persons contact information.
  • People Card shows Notes, Orgs, profile, feeds, ya de ya.

Demo Part 4 : Skype, Lync and Office

  • Skype is now integrated into Skype straight from Office.
  • Quick Demo that – probably more work needed on it.

Demo Part 5 : Excel

  • There’s a new feature in Excel that can “Flash Fill” a new column based on criteria in the other sells.
  • Quick Analysis : Appears to be someway of doing quick pivots and and conditional formatting best on it learning what already in the worksheet.

Demo Part 6 : PPI (Perceptive Pixel)

  • PPI Device – looks like a massive 84″ HD television showing Windows 8, with touch. Can see the mother’s around the land moaning “keep those fingers off my screen!”.
  • Example of this now : Meetings! Joins a meeting on the “massive television”. High Def video conference. THAT WAS COOL!
  • Shows how other dudes in the meeting can collaborate on a PowerPoint together, but scribbling on it.
  • Collective Note taking session using OneNote.

Wrap up – where’s the Goodies Steve ?