Office 2013 – First Impressions

My work laptop got wonky and my copy of Office 2010 was corrupted. Really weird stuff happening, but the icing on the cake was it saving corrupted files. I used all my ninja mojo, ran out of ideas, and then turned to our internal desktop support group, again to no avail. The last ditch effort before re-imaging the laptop was to try Office 2013.

Office 2013 with the release of the first service pack became “supported” on our computers, so a quick transaction on the SW lifecycle management tool, and it was installed. A couple reboots later and it is working.

It had no trouble finding my exchange email account, and syncing, and the plugins that I have installed work well with it (seems like the Acrobat plugin is a bit wonky, but I virtually never use that).

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I make contact with Windows 8

A week or so ago, my wife and I were shopping (at a local office supply store), and they had the two Microsoft Surfaces.  The RT which is ARM powered, and the other one (pro?) with a Core i5 and full windows compatibility.

The Microsoft Surface is surprisingly usable. Too bad it was far too late to compete.
The Microsoft Surface is surprisingly usable. Too bad it was far too late to compete.

I was expecting to be underwhelmed, but the Metro interface, and the responsiveness of the product was surprising.  Metro (the Windows 8) UI is well suited for touch interactions. The tiles are intuitive, and the system is quite snappy. As I played with it, I found it very well designed and easy to interact with.

I am not in danger of giving up my iPad, but if Microsoft launched this in 2010 at the same time as the iPad was launched, it might have had a chance. But now, it is too little too late, and the ship has sailed.

Shame, because it is a nice platform. I definitely like it better than the stock Android 4.2 on my Nexus7.

I also played with the laptops with Windows 8 (the wife was busy exchanging toner cartridges and finding the binders).  After playing with the Surface, it was impossible to not reach out and touch the display. Even though only about 1/4 of the demo units had touch screens.

While Metro is fine for the tablet, I am not sold on the desktop. Again, there is minimal risk of me abandoning my Mac’s anytime soon for a Windows 8 system.