Top positive review
83 of 103 people found this helpful
The actual product is the best yet!
on February 4, 2013
EDIT: Microsoft has just changed the license agreement 3/6/13
** They have done away with the "license is only good for life of PC" part. The new agreement will now allow users to transfer the license if they get a new PC or the old one fails. You can't transfer the license more than once every 90 days, unless there's a hardware failure. You're still limited to having the software on one computer at any one time. Office 365 remains unchanged.**
Almost none of the other reviews are rating the actual product. Keep in mind that I recognize that MS has drastically changed the price of Office and I don't like it any more than you. But I feel it is still important to review the product so that you can judge for yourself if the product warrants its price. If you can't find Office 2010 Home and Student (3 PC's) or need more than Excel, PowerPoint, or Word then here are the 2013 MSRP prices:
Home and Student $140 - 1PC
Home and Business $220 - 1PC
Office Professional $400 - 1PC
Office 365 Home Premium $99/Year - 5 licenses for any device (PC, Mac, supported tablet). Licenses can be switched to another device at any time.
Office 365 Small Business Premium - $150.00 user/year or $15.00 user/month. 1-10 employees Each user gets to put office on 5 devices(PC, supported tablets, *Mac but I'm not positive*)
Unless you buy Office 365, you are stuck with this one license for your one computer.Also keep in mind that Office 2013 is only for Windows 7, 8.
Obviously if you have more than 1 computer, then Office 365 may be the way to go (for home use). Businesses will have to judge for themselves, but now that you can transfer licenses to other computers, the standalone may be the better choice. Yes, it's subscription based, but every 3 or 4 years when the next version of Office is released it will have been cheaper than buying 5 individual licenses. I say that based on current pricing models. The 365 model has any future upgrades included. If you only have 1 PC then any of the versions will do you fine.
Now onto the product itself, sort of.. I have used all products in the new Office suite including Visio and Project but I have not used OneNote. This version of Office is truly the best yet. Everything can be tied into Skydrive (cloud storage) so your files can follow you. This may not be new for the industry but is new for Office. When you hit 'Save As' it will ask for a location and one of the choices is your Skydrive account. I notice a significant speed boost when any of the programs load up compared to 2010 versions. The new office is fast, as it should be. The ribbon is very familiar and the whole UI is straight forward. You won't find any curves or color in the new Office however. The look has been simplified but many will feel it isn't as visually appealing as previous versions. With that said, I do like the look. Let's be honest here though, no one has ever bought Office because it looks pretty. With that said there's nothing crazy revolutionary about it, but a nice step forward. Visio still has default bland general objects that look nothing like what your trying to visualize. Excel, Word and all the rest work great.
A key point is that you can edit and save PDF's in Word now. However, the more graphics in the PDF, the more Word screws up. The commenting and review feature has been given a major upgrade. It now has tree-structured comment boxes that you can minimize and mark as "done". The spell check dialog is now in a panel to the right of the editing window. This makes the spell check process far less annoying.
In excel, if you highlight a block of data the little lightning bolt box appears but now has many useful formatting options. It is a better alternative than hunting through the ribbon. Something called "Flash Fill" fills in a new column of data with data taken from other columns without making you scratch your head about a formula. Do a google search to see what i mean. Graphs and charts change as soon as you change a number in a table. So you can quickly see the result without having to remake the graph.
This may have been a feature in Outlook 2010 but you can now hide the ribbon and you can use a smaller toolbar instead. The File, Home, Send etc stay visible. You can choose from only a couple of themes for you background to help with the dull, bland feel. Searching has been improved to allow searching through not only mail but subject, attachments, and calender. Outlook 2013 has integrated with some social media like linkedIn. Your contacts can show up, along with updates and what not. If you have Microsoft Lync, you can schedule appointments to meet in person or on Lync. Tasks can be synced through outlook.com If Outlook is you work life then that should help simplify appointments and regular tasks to be checked off all on one calender available on the web (outlook.com).
There are good reviews on Engadget on Office 2013 on Engadget, PC world, PC mag, etc. And they all make office 2013 shine. Office 365 is the best option for many pc's. But Student and Home is good for 1 PC and will do what most users want. If you have office 2010, DO NOT go buy this unless you specifically need its cloud and web offerings. Many people do not realize that their needs would be met by a free open source alternative. Look into Google Drive, LibreOffice and Apache OpenOffice. MS Office is very powerful and those alternatives will never do what Office can. For many people though, they only need something to handle simple tasks.