Microsoft released Office 2013 this week. As Microsoft Partners we have been using it for 6 months already.  Here here are my observations on how it will affect real estate and construction company users:

    • The interface is “cleaner”.  As usual with an Office upgrade it will take you a couple of days to get used to a few things moving around in Excel, Outook, Word and PowerPoint.  For example the navigation for Outlook between mail, calendars and people (formerly “contacts”) is now in the bottom left of the Outlook program.   Overall you’ll like the look and feel.

  • Microsoft spent a lot of time making Office 2013 more tablet friendly – except it doesn’t work on iPads.  It seems Microsoft wants to give their own tablets a competitive advantage for business users by not supporting iPads.  Their flagship tablet is coming out next week – it may be a game changer for project managers, leasing staff and property managers who frequently work remotely.  I find myself “tethering” my laptop to my phone or iPad when I have more than a half hour to wait at an airport as the iPad’s lack of Word and Excel and a true file system make it less convenient to use than a laptop if you want to work on more than email.
  • From a cost perspective Microsoft is responding to their lower end competition of Google Docs and Open Office by offering a subscription service for $100 per year.  This would make sense if you need the full version of Office and haven’t previously purchased it.

CNET has done a thorough review of Office 2013 – you can find it here with extensive screen shots and a video review.