Microsoft today held a live press webcast across Africa to announce the availability of Office 13. The New Modern Office as Microsoft calls it, is optimized for touch and has an all round feel with social, cloud and optimization for Windows 8. Tablets and Slates use will be quite easy with Office 13. Office 2013 will be interactive in the cloud. Internet in Africa is still a problem and Office 2013 is available both on cloud and offline, so you can work on-line and off-line. With Skydrive you can synchronize the remote files with local documents when you get access to the internet.
Marc Israel, Group Lead at Office Division for Microsoft West, East and Central Africa explained that the availability of Office 2013 is a step in the right direction and that it makes the end user more productive in both a work and home environment. He added that with Office you can continue working offline, while the integration with cloud technologies allows you to sync your documents seamlessly allowing you to be far more productive.
Office 2013 has a license for one device with pricing starting from $140 for Office $ Home Student 2013, $220 for Office & Business 2013 and Office Professional 2013 at &400 for a single respectively. Office Home & Student 2013 installation includes Word, Excel, Ms Powerpoint and Office One Note. Office Home & Business 2013 includes Word, Excel, Powerpoint, One Note and Office Outlook for an installation. Office Professional 2013 includes Word, Excel, Powerpoint, One Note, Outlook and Access. Office 2013 allows you to edit protected PDF files from within Word. You also get guides that assist in embedding features like Youtube, Maps and Photos, it also enables you to search for open-source images that are copyright free for use in documents.
Office 365 Home Premium on the other hand gives a license spanning multiple devices for all Office applications, version upgrades, Office on demand and 20GB skydrive for cloud starting at $100 a year for 5 devices.On Office 365, documents will by default save to Skydrive making documents stay upto date across all devices you access with your Outlook account. Office 365 is three times more Skydrive storage at 20GB. Access is on upto 5 devices, these range from PCs, Macs, Windows phones and Slates. You also get 60 minutes calling time on Skype.
You can also share this Office access with your whole household. Outlook account holders are able to access Office Anywhere for free with Office Web Apps and this integrates directly with your Skydrive account. Previously available in Nigeria and Kenya for purchase, Office 365 Home Premium will be available as of today the 19th of March for the rest of Africa.
Office Home Premium is only available as a download while Office Professional, Office Home & Business and Home & Student is available as a DVD.
“Office 2013 will revolutionize workflow.
Current productivity software forces work to be processed sequentially and locally, i.e. John completes his part, then emails the file to Peter to complete his, and so on. The infrastructure and cost for these process forces most business to keep their work flows within their physical locales.
By leveraging the power of the cloud, Office 2013 brings the ability for multiple parties to collaborate on the same documents simultaneously, from any locale in the world, at a cost that is feasible from the smallest SME to the largest Multinational Corporation.
Office 2013 achieves the holy grail of productivity software: Increased productivity, added features, while reducing IT complexity and cost.” said Latiff Cherono, a Windows Phone Community Evangelist and Windows Power User.
Microsoft is also trying to protect their software from Black Market and Grey Market by limiting the licenses to being valid to only country of purchase. They have segmented the markets and each region has retailers and on-line markets where they can purchase licenses.