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Microsoft Office 2013 – What you need to know

2012 is shaping up to be a big year for Microsoft, with new software and hardware set to be launched in the coming months.

As well as the hugely anticipated Windows 8 operating system, which is due out later this year, we recently had the unveiling of the Surface tablet.

The king of the traditional desktop computer is going truly 21st Century, with the upcoming OS and tablet designed to be an assault on the mobile market.

To go with its new and very much improved OS, the tech giant has unveiled Office 2013 – the latest edition of the world’s most popular productivity application.

Modern-day update for Microsoft Office

With more than a billion users around the world, Microsoft Office’s popularity doesn’t look like wavering any time soon. But in this mobile world, Microsoft needed to brings its iconic program up to date.

Like Windows 8, Office 2013 is fully touchscreen-ready, which will allow it to be used on the Surface tablet – a big selling point for the device.

Microsoft Office 2013 Surface Tablet

It may seem like an obvious capability, but Office 2013 will mark the first time that the likes of PowerPoint, Excel, Word and Outlook will responsive to touchscreen controls.

So expect to be able to tap, swipe and pinch your way elegantly through the program, in a way that Microsoft claims is much more immersive and visceral.

Office 2013 new features

The whole Office package is also set to grow, with the inclusion of Skype and the recently-acquired social network Yammer in the application.

This will enable multi-party conversations with Skype video calling, which will be able to be accessed through Word, PowerPoint and Outlook.

There’ll also be more use of cloud computing within Office 2013, with Skydrive automatically saving and syncing all documents in the cloud.

There’s no solid release date for Office 2013 just yet, but it looks like the world’s most popular productivity application will stay that way for quite some time.

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