Office 2013 New LogoOn July 16 2012, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced the immediate availability of the Customer Preview for the NEW Office 2013! This latest version of Office provides a lot of new features including new support for Touch Input, Cloud services integration (SkyDrive), Social collaboration and the Metro UI.

Office 2013 Customer Preview can be installed in just a few easy steps and installs within minutes and can co-exist and run side-by-side with an existing version of Office, which means there is no need to uninstall your current Office installation to try out the latest version, which is pretty neat.

“Office at Its Best on Windows 8

Touch everywhere. Office responds to touch as naturally as it does to keyboard and mouse. Swipe your finger across the screen or pinch and zoom to read your documents and presentations. Author new content and access features with the touch of a finger.

Inking. Use a stylus to create content, take notes and access features. Handwrite email responses and convert them automatically to text. Use your stylus as a laser pointer when presenting. Color your content and erase your mistakes with ease.

New Windows 8 applications. OneNote and Lync represent the first new Windows 8 style applications for Office. These applications are designed to deliver touch-first experiences on a tablet. A new radial menu in OneNote makes it easy to access features with your finger.

Included in Windows RT. Office Home and Student 2013 RT, which contains new versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote applications, will be included on ARM-based Windows 8 devices, including Microsoft Surface.

Office Is in the Cloud

SkyDrive. Office saves documents to SkyDrive by default, so your content is always available across your tablet, PC and phone. Your documents are also available offline and sync when you reconnect.

Roaming. Once signed in to Office, your personalized settings, including your most recently used files, templates and even your custom dictionary, roam with you across virtually all of your devices. Office even remembers where you last left off and brings you right back to that spot in a single click.

Office on Demand. With a subscription, you can access Office even when you are away from your PC by streaming full-featured applications to an Internet-connected Windows-based PC.

New subscription services. The new Office is available as a cloud-based subscription service. As subscribers, consumers automatically get future upgrades in addition to exciting cloud services including Skype world minutes and extra SkyDrive storage. Subscribers receive multiple installs for everyone in the family and across their devices.

Office Is Social

Yammer. Yammer delivers a secure, private social network for businesses. You can sign up for free and begin using social networking instantly. Yammer offers integration with SharePoint and Microsoft Dynamics.

Stay connected. Follow people, teams, documents and sites in SharePoint. View and embed pictures, videos and Office content in your activity feeds to stay current and update your colleagues.

People Card. Have an integrated view of your contacts everywhere in Office. The People Card includes presence information complete with pictures, status updates, contact information and activity feeds from Facebook and LinkedIn accounts.

Skype. The new Office comes with Skype. When you subscribe, you get 60 minutes of Skype world minutes every month. Integrate Skype contacts into Lync and call or instant message anyone on Skype.

Office Unlocks New Scenarios

Digital note-taking. Keep your notes handy in the cloud and across multiple devices with OneNote. Use what feels most natural to you — take notes with touch, pen or keyboard, or use them together and switch easily back and forth.

Reading and markup. The Read Mode in Word provides a modern and easy-to-navigate reading experience that automatically adjusts for large and small screens. Zoom in and out of content, stream videos within documents, view revision marks and use touch to turn pages.

Meetings. PowerPoint features a new Presenter View that privately shows your current and upcoming slides, presentation time, and speaker notes in a single glance. While presenting, you can zoom, mark up and navigate your slides with touch and stylus. Lync includes multiparty HD video with presentations, shared OneNote notebooks and a virtual whiteboard for collaborative brainstorming.

Eighty-two-inch touch-enabled displays. Conduct more engaging meetings, presentations and lessons, whether in person or virtually, with these multitouch and stylus-enabled displays from Perceptive Pixel.”

 

Installing the new Office Customer Preview

  1. Before getting started, you should review the Office 2013 System Requirements

  2. To start the Office 2013 Customer Preview installation, visit http://office.com/preview

  3. If you are a home user, click on the "Sign Up" button. Business users can click on the "Office 365 Enterprise"

  4. Complete a new user profile and create a new Microsoft account. Note – If you are currently an Office 365 subscription user, you’ll need to sign up for a new Microsoft account that is different from your Office 365 login credentials to test the Customer Preview

  5. Once you’ve signed up for a new Microsoft account, login to http://portal.microsoftonline.com with your new ID

  6. From the Office 365 Admin home page, click the "Download Software" admin shortcut

  7. Click the "install" button. This will launch the new "Click-to-Run" installer. (What’s Click-to-Run? Here’s a technical overview of this new technology)

  8. The new Office installer will launch via Click-to-Run technology.

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Review the Microsoft Office licensing agreement and then click the “Accept” button in the lower right corner.

Within a few minutes, the core of Office will start to install.

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Then choose a look and feel to personalize your new Office client applications.

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Click on the “Take a look” button if you would like to get a quick introduction to what’s new.

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At this point, you can start to use Office. The rest of the installation will continue in the background and wrap up quickly.

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Installation Complete

After the click-to-run installation completes, you’ll see a new group in the Start menu. Here is where you’ll get to see the new application icons. They are definitely Metro inspired.

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Here is the new Word splash screen which is briefly displayed as Word loads up.

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Word 2013

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Excel 2013

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OneNote 2013

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Final Thoughts

I really like the new Office 2013 experience. You should try it out for yourself.

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The other day there was an automatic update for SkyDrive for Windows, which added performance improvements, reliability and better integration with Windows.

Among the changes are a new logo, an updated white icon for the system tray for Windows 7 and 8, and a new status window.

A New Logo

This update brought us a new SkyDrive logo, which  falls in line with the Metro look and feel that is coming in Windows 8.

New SkyDrive Logo

A New Status Window

Part of this update includes a new status window to see what is going on with SkyDrive and whether everything is up to date. You can see this new status window by clicking on the SkyDrive icon in the system tray. This status windows lets you know if SkyDrive it up to date, provides you the time it last was updated and also information on the size and files being synchronized.

You may also notice the all white system tray icon “Cloud”.

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We also see the new logo in the Windows Explorer:

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Apart from the above, most of what changed in this update is not visible to users. “As with most updates,  "this one improves performance, reliability, and compatibility of SkyDrive," so people depending on the service can rely on the system to automatically sync files.” – Mike Torres, from Microsoft.

If you have SkyDrive for Windows installed, then you should get this update automatically. If you don’t have SkyDrive for Windows…I recommend you go and download it now from the SkyDrive web site.

SkyDrive App for Windows

April 25, 2012

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Microsoft recently released a number of SkyDrive updates, including changes to the service, mobile apps for iPhone and Windows phone and a preview of a new Windows desktop application.

There are also changes to the storage size. As mentioned in a previous post, those that have been with Microsoft (MSN, Hotmail, Live) for a long time are being given a free upgrade to 25GB of storage. You can then add additional storage if you like. See my previous post for more details. If you haven’t already upgraded your account, you should take advantage of this before it expires.

First, what is SkyDrive?

SkyDrive is a cloud based solution for storing important files on your PC and keeping them in sync with SkyDrive.com. It is the easiest way to access your SkyDrive from your PC. When you install SkyDrive, a SkyDrive folder is created on your PC. Everything you put in this folder is automatically kept in sync between your computers (PC or Mac) and SkyDrive.com, so you can get to your latest files from virtually anywhere. Whenever you add, change, or delete files in one location, all the other locations will be updated.

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If you forgot to put something in your SkyDrive folder, you can still get back to your PC to access all its files and folders from SkyDrive.com.

You can also access your SkyDrive from your mobile devices, including Windows Phone, iPhone, iPad, Android, etc. There is also support for the Mac.

SkyDrive Application for Windows

As mentioned above, with these changes comes a new desktop application for Windows which allows you to see your SkyDrive as if it were a physical folder on your machine. This has the added effect of making any program with a save option SkyDrive enabled.

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Similar to other cloud solutions, this desktop application lets you drag and drop files to the SkyDrive folder. These files are then automatically uploaded to the remove server. This means you can work on a document, save it to SkyDrive and then always have the latest version available online, your phone, another computer, and so on.

Summary of Features

  • Access your SkyDrive right from Windows Explorer—photos, documents, and all your other important files
  • Quickly add new files to SkyDrive by dragging them to the SkyDrive folder
  • Easily organize your files and folders in SkyDrive, just like any other folder
  • Connect back to your PC if you forget to put something in SkyDrive

Compatibility

This application is compatible with Windows Vista, Windows 7, and the upcoming Windows 8. Windows XP users will have to use the web browser interface.

Download

You can download any of the SkyDrive apps from here.

If you’ve been a customer with Windows Live, Hotmail, MSN, etc., then you’ve most likely been through a lot of changes. Microsoft appreciates your support and would like to make it easy for you to continue to keep using your 25 GB of free online storage. All you need to do is go to the SkyDrive storage page and choose Upgrade my storage. That’s it—you’re then locked in for 25 GB for free.

Click this link to view more details on this offer, otherwise continue reading below to see instructions…

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/skydrive/loyalty

 

NOTE: This offer only works with older accounts.

Instructions

1. Sign in to your Windows Live account and then click on the SkyDrive link at the top.

2. Then if your account is eligible, click on the message that says “SkyDrive’s free storage is changing – claim your free 25GB”. If you don’t see this message, then your account is not eligible.

3. Click on the Free Upgrade! Button.

4. You’re done.

Alternatively you could decide to upgrade to higher storage allotments… +20, +50, +100 for a small fee. I would first start by upgrading to your free 25 GB and then if needed, consider adding on to that.

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Ken Cenerelli

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