Automotive Deals HPCC Amazon Fashion Learn more nav_sap_plcc_ascpsc $5 Albums Fire TV Stick Sun Care Handmade school supplies Shop-by-Room Amazon Cash Back Offer showtimemulti showtimemulti showtimemulti  Amazon Echo  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Amazon Echo Starting at $49.99 All-New Kindle Oasis Segway miniPro

Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on February 2, 2013
About a month ago, I installed Windows 8 and the final version of Office 2013 on a Dell XPS 13. A bit about me: I'm a graduate student and a long-time user of Microsoft Office. I've used Word, Excel, Powerpoint and OneNote almost every day for the past 5 years, but OneNote the most by far. I've used every version of Office since 1997.

As other reviewers have pointed out, the biggest changes to Office 2013 from Office 2010 are SkyDrive integration, touch gestures, and a flatter UI to match Windows 8. Since I don't use SkyDrive often, don't have a touchscreen, and am indifferent to the flatter look, I'll leave those aspects to other reviews. If you're like me and aren't particularly excited by SkyDrive (which still isn't as versatile as Google Docs for real-time collaboration), then Office 2013 is practically the same as Office 2010 in terms of how everything works - most of the time. This is not a bad thing, at least in my opinion, since I really liked Office 2010 and its improved Ribbon UI.

What I wanted to talk about here are the changes that Microsoft has made to Office 2013 from Office 2010 that I've noticed, changes that might impact daily workflow for users upgrading from previous Office versions.

OneNote 2013:
I spend at least 4 hours a day in this program, so I'll start with this. As far as I can tell, there are no significant changes in terms of features. Buttons on the ribbon are shuffled around a bit, but the feature set is still the same, as is the file container (*.one) and notebook type ("OneNote 2010-2013").

However, there are 5 new issues that annoy me every single day.
(1) Full screen and pinning the ribbon. In 2013, going into full screen mode means that everything is hidden, except for a very short horizontal bar across the top of the screen. To access anything on the ribbon, I have to click on this bar to show the ribbon first. If I want to pin the ribbon so that tabs are visible at all times in full screen mode, I have to click on this bar, click a menu button near the minimize button (also hidden in full screen), and then click Show Tabs. However, OneNote does not remember this setting. Thus, every time I exit full screen mode or restart OneNote and then reenter full screen mode, I have to re-pin the ribbon again. On an ultrabook, I want more space for taking notes, but I also use the ribbon extensively and would prefer to have it available. This problem did not exist in OneNote 2010, which remembers the user's full-screen ribbon settings.
(2) Inserting multi-page printouts. The new default behavior in OneNote 2013 is to place each page of the printout on a separate "page" of the notebook. I prefer to put one entire lecture on each "notebook page", regardless of how many pages or slides the professor gives us. I've also never come across anyone who prefers to have only one printout page on each notebook page. So for instance, if I were inserting a 30-slide Powerpoint, OneNote 2013 would create 30 new notebook pages. There is an option to turn this off in the options, but OneNote then shows a dialog box asking me to choose between the two options every time I want to insert a printout. Since I insert several files a day, this gets annoying very quickly. Once again, OneNote 2010 did not have this problem.
(3) Inserting more than 1 multi-page printout on the same notebook page. If I try this, then the second printout is somehow inserted under the first printout, i.e. the first printout overlaps and covers up the second printout. It only happens when the printouts are both at least several pages long or if I've annotated the page already; the program disregards my cursor location. To work around this, I have to put the second printout on a new notebook page and then copy/paste the printout pages back to the first notebook page. This problem also did not exist in OneNote 2010.
(4) Zoom level changes when inserting printout: it always defaults back to 100%. I take notes at 115% on my ultrabook, so every time I insert a printout, I have to readjust the zoom level.
(5) Drawing tools. I have no idea how Microsoft managed to mess this up when going from 2010 to 2013, but half the time I try to draw an arrow, it ends up being a line with a V in the middle, or the arrowhead is completely detached from the line. In fact, I can't even draw a plain line properly sometimes. I haven't tried the other shapes much, but I wouldn't be surprised if there were problems there too. I've given up and resorted to drawing arrows freehand with the pen tool instead.

These issues may seem minor to some, but they affect me every day, so I wanted to give a heads-up to anyone else who uses OneNote the same way I do. I wish that Microsoft had spent more time implementing useful features (e.g. still can't rotate or crop a printout; search results are still clunky) or at least providing options to change these new behaviors in settings.

Word 2013:
Now, when you open up Word (and Excel/Powerpoint), you're presented with a selection of templates instead of just a blank document, which is one extra click away. Other than that, the feature set for Word has remained largely the same. I have noticed significant lag when saving large Word documents, even to SSD - I was working on a 20MB file and Word would freeze up for 10-15 seconds every time I saved, despite my computer being pretty new. I tried tweaking the settings, disabling hardware acceleration, etc, but nothing helped. This was not an issue in Word 2010 either.

One of the most touted new features of Word 2013 is the ability to open PDF files for editing, but I have attempted to open and edit several documents, and Word does a horrible job of preserving formatting. I have third-party conversion software that almost always gets the formatting correct, no matter how complex, so this was a disappointment. I even tried to open a PDF file that was created from a simple Word document, and Word failed to properly center the title. I would not recommend relying on this feature.

Excel/Powerpoint 2013:
I haven't had much of a chance to work extensively with these programs, but other than the template selection page when first opening the programs, they seem pretty much the same as Office 2010. Saving large files in Powerpoint 2013 usually seems okay, unlike in Word 2013. Powerpoint now defaults to 16:9 aspect ratio for slides, which is nice. There are some nice additions and tweaks to the Design tab in Powerpoint, but nothing spectacular. Excel has some handy pattern-recognition auto-fill functions now which seem to work well.

One more thing about Word/Excel/Powerpoint: Microsoft decided to add transitions to everything, which I find distracting. For example, when you type in Word, the letters fade into the page instead of simply appearing, and the cursor glides to the right. In Excel, when recalculating cells, the new values fade in, like a ripple effect. In Powerpoint, when applying a new background, it fades into all the slides as it is applied. There is no way to turn this off except through a registry tweak.

It may seem like I'm being overly critical of Office 2013, but I immensely enjoyed using Office 2010, and much of that experience has carried over here. Office 2013 will undoubtedly stand as the new standard of office suites this year. Microsoft Office remains a powerful and invaluable set of software for people in academia or business, which is why I'm still giving it 3.5 (~4) stars. But at best, Office 2013 is simply Office 2010 with SkyDrive integration and touch gestures. If you're like me, Office 2013 introduces little to no new functionality and a handful of new bugs and quirks that interfere with daily workflow. My advice? If you're considering upgrading from pre-2010, then I would recommend Office 2010, especially in light of the annual subscription-based model Microsoft is pursuing for Office 2013. If you're already on Office 2010 and are happy, I would not recommend upgrading to Office 2013.

UPDATE - SkyDrive collaboration
Recently, I tried using SkyDrive, Office Web Apps (free version), and Office 2013 together to collaborate on some files with other people, and the experience is a far cry from Google Docs. I will preface this by saying that I am not using the subscription/corporate versions of Office Web Apps, which (I believe) have better collaboration features. This is for users who want to buy the retail copy of Office 2013 and/or are considering using Skydrive and the free Office Web Apps to work on files with other people.
(1) Changes are not synced in real time - for instance, if someone makes an edit, all other users who have the file open must manually save and refresh the document to see changes.
(2) Conflicts. After the manual save/refresh, Skydrive roughly merges everything together - so, for instance, if both users write a sentence, both sentences will appear after the first user syncs their changes, the second user syncs the first user's changes plus their own changes, and the first user syncs yet again. If two users try to edit the same word, Skydrive gives an error message, complaining of a conflict and asking the user to manually resolve each problem. If this sounds like a mess, it's because it is.
(3) There is no indication of what other users are editing, where their cursors are, what they're looking at, etc., unlike Google Docs.
(4) In Excel, if a desktop user on Excel 2013 is editing the spreadsheet, then no other users can edit it.
(5) In Powerpoint, text appears in a different size and font when being edited, then reverts back after the user exits the text box...why?
(6) The web apps have been stripped of nearly all features, even basic things like header/footer in Word. This is to be expected, since it's free, but it also means that Google Docs provides a superior experience, at least for word processing.
I shudder to think how badly this system would work when trying to get a significant amount of work done. Google Docs may be inadequate for many power-user tasks, but it is absolutely outstanding when it comes to real-time collaboration - I've written 100+ page papers with other people using Google Docs, and while further formatting is always required in Word after everything is written, we've never had a problem with seeing exactly what has been written at any given time. Microsoft's free solution does not hold up well at all for multi-user scenarios; it really only works as a backup solution for single user use.
66 comments| 251 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 21, 2013
I have been using Office Professional 2007 at work for years, and I bought Office 2010 for home use when it first came out. I can tell you that Office 2010 is a very worthwhile upgrade from 2007, and compatibility between those two products is decent. I recently purchased Office 2013 for work and I already regret it. If I could make the choice again, I would get Office 2010. Right now in February 13', Office 2010 is the best, most robust version of Office m$ has ever produced. There is almost no major reason to get 2013 and I can think of several, two just today, that are reasons NOT to. Access 2013 doesn't do the data collection via form from Outlook like 2010 does and they replaced that feature with " ", yep nothing, just gone. The entire "Collect Data" group is simply gone. How do they charge a higher price when they remove features? Today when I composed an email for my boss in Outlook 2013 and spent some time with spacing and formatting to make it look just like I wanted it to look, then sent it off. When I opened it in my 'sent items' folder to take a last look, I was pretty p%**ed to see a message at the top of my email saying "Outlook 2013 removed unnecessary lines from this message" which left my email looking pretty crappy. What an utterly useless "feature". That can be disabled in options but can mess up a plain text email for you if you forget to turn it off - same goes for Outlook 2010. If you are using Office 2007 or an older version, then an upgrade to office 2010 would be a worthwhile experience. I think I am finished with m$ Office products as of my 2010 version and will have to do something far different in the future. My advice - stay away from Office 2013. Access 2013 seems to be a product without a development team any more. They should have called it Office-Bob or Bob II, or Office-Me III, and Outlook should have been called Outhouse AFAIAC and that would have been more accurate. Bad product IMHO. I do not recommend this product.

Another thought is on microsofts draconian licensing methods. A previous reviewer is correct, it is a scam and one of many that m$ is boldly and now openly doing these days. They don't even pretend to be ethical anymore, there's no reason to. They've been on an ever evolving campaign over the past ten years to broaden and tighten the licensing noose on all of their products to the point that they are now using a licensing dragnet and guillotine to capture and decapitate anyone that THEY consider to be even a POTENTIAL future offender. I honestly don't even see how their requirement to forbid someone from moving one of their products from one computer to another is even legal and I'm surprised someone hasn't challenged them on it, but considering that times have changed to the point where few things like this involving corporations are ever won anymore, it would probably be an expensive exercise in futility - m$ would not have dared to attempt such a bold scam 15 years ago, the software buying public would have been outraged and there would have been legal fears for m$, but today they fear almost nothing. Expect it to get worse as long as people keep buying their products. Give some thought to it and you'll see that this is the same thing as buying a new car from Ford or GM, and signing an agreement that you can never re-use the engine or transmission in another vehicle should this one wear out or get wrecked - you would effectively be agreeing now to buy another new car in the future instead of using what you already paid for once. There's a reason m$ employees don't mention who their employer is in technology circles, or do so with a blush of embarrassment.

Word 2013 can open PDF documents in edit mode, converting them to docx documents, something that is new and if it did a good job of it, would be a nice new feature to have. Unfortunately, it doesn't do a very good job at converting PDF's. Today I opened a 24 page PDF that a co-worker needed to edit and create a new document out of. The OCR capability of this new feature is pathetic and even Acrobat did only slightly better. Seven of the 24 pages were left as images in Word and five of them were left as images in Acrobat. Many of the pages that were converted were in such bad shape that re-creating entire pages would have been only slightly more time consuming, or less in some cases. I OCR'd the same document with FreeOcr which doesn't cost a penny, and it converted every single page - no exceptions, and did a much better job making the document very salvageable and worth making a new document out of - no thanks to Word-Bob or Acrosplat. Clearly, people are not getting their moneys worth from any of these big software companies. I've been a longtime customer of m$ going back to MSDOS 1.9 for Zenith and have ALWAYS paid for my software as 99.9 % of my colleagues over the last 30 years years have done but their new business model seems to be an all-out assault on their paying customers, something I read about a former unix company trying a few years back.
44 comments| 49 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 17, 2013
Microsoft changed their license agreement for Office 2013 from non-transferable and tied to one PC to now you can transfer to a new computer, only once every 90 days. You can have only one license copy in use period on one computer.
This is fair enough.

There are some good updates to Office 2013. The best is probably easier working with pdf files within word. You use to have have a separate pdf program to do what you can now do in word. PDFs have been around for awhile and most people who work with pdf files already have one of these programs. For people like me this feature is well late to the party. It doesn't drive me to upgrade. I am still thinking about it.

Microsoft wants to push their web based Office 365 subscription- renting the software. Office 365 may or may not be a good deal. It depends. Office 365 is cloud base. This means you have to have a good internet connection. I really don't think the internet infrastructure is ready for the the cloud based push all big software companies want to do. If everyone goes to cloud office, movies, backup/storage, and music things are going to slow down. The primary problem is our internet connection and choices are limited with very limited competition (monopolies). The US lags far behind many other developed countries in how fast our internet speeds are and competitive pricing. Until this is fixed companies that want to do cloud base software are going to be hindered. That is though a whole different discussion.

One thing about office 2013 is you do not have to have an internet connection for access to office as it is on your desktop. Something to consider.

The positives of Office 365 as opposed to Office 2013 is it is easier for Microsoft to maintain and update. You can access and work from 5 computers on home premium license. You don't have control of the rent after 1 year so hopefully it will not go up. Office has been on a 3 year upgrade cycle/"new office". Figure whether it is worth it for you to buy or rent.

Original Review

"All Office 2013 stand alone products are not transferable from one computer to another. If you have a major upgrade or the computer breaks down or you get a new computer you can not transfer the license to another computer. Microsoft is being less than upfront about this. I did notice in the comparison of product license they are noting it. This is in the fine print of the licensing agreement.

Previous agreements of Office you could transfer the licenses as long as it was used on one computer.

Microsoft wants to push their web based Office 365 subscription- renting the software."
55 comments| 35 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 17, 2015
Upgraded from an earlier version to operate under Windows 10. It does, and performs as anticipated, and includes all the elements I need on a daily basis. Amazon gave me the best price, and if you need to upgrade, this will do the job.
0Comment| 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
TOP 50 REVIEWERon April 24, 2013
Platform: PC Key Card|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have two versions of Office 2013. The first is the Professional version that contains all the core applications plus Access and Publisher. I put that on my main PC and, after a very frustrating install process, got it running. My review is posted under the Professional version should you be interested (bottom line: not worth the trouble or cost of the so-called "upgrade").

I wanted to use this version (Home and Business) on my laptop. Since the Microsoft license limits the install to one PC, there should not be a problem running Home and Business on my laptop and Professional on my desktop. I mean, that's what Microsoft says you HAVE to do -- a separate copy per machine.

But it seems that it's not possible to do so if both versions are the keycard options. I first registered my Professional version. After installing it (finally!) on my desktop, I used my laptop to go to the site to register/enable my Business & Home version. Could not do it using the same Microsoft account. Does no one at Microsoft believe that one person could have more than one PC and want to run different Office options on both of them using the same Microsoft account? Evidently not!

Emailed Microsoft support for assistance. No response after 3 days.

So, if you want to purchase 2 versions of Office 2013 for 2 PCs, make sure you don't get the keycard versions. Actually, if you're thinking about buying Office 2013 sit down, have a drink, and repeat until the urge to purchase Office disappears.
11 comment| 21 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Platform: PC Key Card|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Like it or not, Microsoft Office is the de-facto standard of office suites, with Word being the predominant program. It was not always this way, as those who have been computer users for some years will remember well. In fact, we may have all been running WordPerfect Office with its affiliated programs if it was not for some strange twists in computer history beginning in the 1990s.

There are a number of variations of this Office 2013 suite that can be found here, but this review will be focused on Office Home & Business 2013 Key Card 1PC/1User. This version is downloaded from the Internet by entering a product key card, and is licensed for one user for installation on one Windows PC; there is no CD. It has the current versions of Word, Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. Users who need the Access database program will need to look for Office Professional 2013 one of the other variations.

As noted in the product description, this new Office 2013 requires Windows 7 or Windows 8. My installation was on a Windows 7 notebook, and though it's noted that for a browser Internet Explorer 6 or later is required, my installation was successfully run using Google Chrome. Went to the Microsoft setup site, entered the 25-character Product Key as indicated and signed in with my current Microsoft account. The installation was smooth and simple and it was all done within fifteen minutes, with the only option being that there was a choice between a 64-bit and 32-bit version of Office. Took the suggested 32-bit version as it prevents potential compatibility issues with third-party add-ins for Office.

It should be noted that I've been running Office 2007 (Standard Edition) on this computer, and it was not removed during the installation process. I had previously removed Outlook 2007 as I had been going through some conflicts a couple of years ago, and was tired of dealing with them. I had looked at Office 2010, but had been getting tired of the upgrade path. I also run Office for Mac 2011 on a MacBook Pro, and never had an issue with Outlook on the OS X platform. The Mac version had become my Office suite of choice, so it was interesting to see how these two versions stacked up against each other, once the subtle customizations were performed.

I'll list the subjective pros and cons found so far with this installation of Office 2013 for those looking for just the key points, then follow with some expanded details.

◆ Likes:

+ Smooth installation; simple directions, easy to follow, almost effortless
+ Clean interface; smooth and minimalist, ribbon can be collapsed as needed
+ Excellent Outlook integration; works well with, Gmail and private email
+ SkyDrive; allow for access of files on the cloud, file sharing when needed

◆ Irritants/Rants:

- Full ALL CAPS menu tabs; don't like having the Metro style jammed down my throat

◆ Installation:

The setup is simple and easy to follow. Included in the small box are the directions and a 25-character Product Key card. Go to the Microsoft Office site as indicated, enter the characters from the card as noted, then sign into or create your Microsoft account. Users who already have an Outlook account (possibly converted over from Hotmail) can start with that. Then it's a simple scenario of following the on-screen directions, and the entire installation should be finished in about 20 minutes.

I was already running Office 2007 on my Windows 7 notebook, and most of my customization settings transferred over to Office 2013 without a glitch, which saved quite a bit of time and hassle. Found the interface to be much cleaner, and with the exception of the CAPS ON menu tabs noted above, it was a good improvement. Though I did not do any precise stopwatch timings, Office 2013 seemed to load faster and smoother. The ribbon menu can be collapsed or expanded as needed.

When you open up Word, Excel or PowerPoint, you'll find a selection of templates on the left side of the screen instead of just a blank document, which is just an extra click away.

What follows are some subjective notes about the various components found within this version of Office 2013. I won't attempt to go too heavy into each of these as one could write a full review on most of the modules, but consider these as observations found from a couple of weeks use of them.

◆ SkyDrive:

This has been integrated quite well within Office 2013, and has built in resilience against twitchy Internet connections. Should you should lose your connectivity while working on a file opened from a SkyDrive account, Office 2013 saves it temporarily on your local hard drive before synchronizing with SkyDrive at a later point in time.

◆ Word 2013:

The features for Word have remained largely the same as those in Office 2007 and those that I've found working on clients' Office 2010 installations. Documents often need to be edited after they are written, and Word 2013 makes the editing process easier with such new features such as the ability to edit PDF files. Previously, you needed to install third-party software, such as Adobe Acrobat. This was available to those of us who have been running Word for Mac 2011 where it does a respectable job, but is new to the PC version. Have not had much time to play with it, but if it works as well as the Mac version, then this will be a big help.

Among the new additions that I've found are that you can watch embedded videos right there within the document, and without having to go to a different application. If you work with collaborative documents, you can reply within comments and those replies will be displayed in threaded conversation style.

◆ Excel 2013:

On a personal note, I have had a love/hate relationship with spreadsheet programs in general since the days of Microsoft Multiplan and Lotus 1-2-3, both of which are distant history now. That being said, Excel has been a program of choice for years now, and one that I've used to input table data into Word and as a flat file database for quite some time. Entering data into spreadsheets can be a tedious and boring chore, so the downward fill feature in Excel that allows you automatically fill the cells in each row with the same number by dragging down has been an ally.

But now there's a new Flash Fill feature that recognizes patterns in your data functions, then automatically fills in the rest of the spreadsheet, and complex formulas are not necessary. You can make it automatically format names the same way (such as last, first, middle initial) just by giving it some examples. Phone numbers can be converted to a uniform format, such as (212) 555-1212, and restore the leading zero to zip codes is a breeze. Look for the Flash Fill button on the Data tab and try it. It's well worth it.

◆ OneNote 2013:

This is probably one of the most overlooked and underrated components of Office 2013. First encountered it in Office 2007, and it became a handy way to keep simple notes and such, but it was limited. The new version will allow you to embed Excel spreadsheets and see the preview within your note. When you update the spreadsheet, the preview automatically updates, as well. Searching within OneNote is better, as you can now search for words that are embedded in graphics files.

◆ PowerPoint 2013:

This was a surprise, as there's a new, cleaner look to PowerPoint 2013. You can start a new presentation using a theme, a template, an older presentation or a more recent one, as well as a blank one. New users should find PowerPoint 2013 to be more intuitive than older versions, and those who are experienced PowerPoint pros will find that everything seems to go smoother. I pulled up some old presentations, including one that was from the late 1990s, and found that doing a few edits was a very smooth process. The themes now come with variations, so tightening up on the look you want is simpler.

◆ Outlook 2013:

First impressions are that there's an openness to this upgrade version. Outlook 2013 is a powerful module, but it will take new users a bit of time to learn to navigate among all of the functions and to understand the numerous toolbar icons, as I found out when showing mine to a colleague. I've been using Outlook under Office for Mac 2011 on a MacBook Pro, and never had an issue with Outlook on the OS X platform, as noted earlier. Right now I'm trying to sync the two versions as much as possible.

◆ Irritants/ Annoyances:

My primary gripe with Office 2013 has to do with the full ALL CAPS menu tabs, and I'm trying my best to see if I can learn to adapt or if I'll change it. As noted earlier, I don't like the "new" Microsoft Metro style being jammed down my throat without the option to change it easily. It's essentially the same one that we find on the Office pages on the Web. There is a workaround, but it must be done in each individual Office 2013 module that you use: go to File > Options > Customize Ribbon, then use the Rename button on each one of the main menu items listed in the right pane under Customize the Ribbon. Instead of changing the name, however, add a space to the end of the name, and then click OK. When you return to the Home tab, the ribbon menu items will be displayed in a title case, with only the first letter capitalized. You can also go back to the ALL CAPS default by resetting them.

It's not worth getting into the license transfer issue here as that was remedied by Microsoft in March, and now the changed Office 2013 license agreement allows users to transfer the software from one computer to another.

◆ Suggestions:

Putting this simply, if you're happy with Office 2007 or 2010, you may want to weigh your choices between the various versions here, read some of the reviews that best apply to your own needs, then decide whether you wish to keep the earlier version or go for the upgrade. My decision was based on the fact that I could upgrade yet still keep Office 2007 going on my PC until such time as I wished to remove it. I've found the upgrade to be worth it, but that's a subjective choice, and I'm glad that I'm skipping generations between them. Had the original Office 2013 license agreement stayed in place, I probably would not have gone for it.

Please note that this review will be dynamic in that as I find experiences worth sharing, be they pro or con, they will be appended to this review. Other findings or additional resources may be listed in the comments.

◆ Summary:

Office Home & Business 2013 with its key card allowing for installation on one PC for one user has proven to be a good choice for my needs as noted in this review. Please keep in mind that with such a program, your needs and mine may differ, as we each use such office suites in different fashions. Currently I'll rate this suite at a solid 4.5, and if your needs are similar to mine, it's highly recommended.

33 comments| 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
First off, don't let some of these reviews confuse you into thinking this 2013 is much different than 2007 or 2010. One thing you can be assured of, the learning curve is not like it was going from 2003 to 2007. It's not that much different than the previous version in 2013.

The key is real simple. It comes in the box pictured, which is smaller than it looks... about 1.5 times the size of a pack of cigarettes. Inside you will find a small credit card size printed cardboard with simply the key printed on it... same style as all MS Keys.

You go to the URL printed on it, and follow the instructions online. You will log into This is the main direction that Microsoft is using with all their new products and they have been using it for volume licensing customers for some time. Once it verifies the Key is legit, it lets you download the software. It's a real quick starter downloader, so I would run it within the browser, as saving it will do little for you. The whole suite actually downloads and installs fairly quick. You will get a notice that you can download it again at the same link.

If you haven't signed up before to, it's real easy and quick... doesn't put any hooks on your computer or stores password in a special file, etc.

When you sign up for the first time for an account, use your favorite email address as your user id. For instance, there is only one in the world, so just use your favorite email address since it is unique, and no kickback of, "that user id is already used." This becomes an integral part of your Office 2013, but it is never necessary that you log into while using Office 2013. It's just like all previous versions of Office on your local computer. Of course it has a lot of new features, but I mainly wanted to describe how this card thing works.
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 16, 2013
Based off my experience with Office 2013, it is a step in the wrong direction... Like at least 10 years of progress have been lost on this most recent release. The user interface in its effort to look new and cool is washed out, and it makes desktop versions feel like a second rate citizen. I for one will be sticking with Office 2010 until they figure the direction they want to go, and if it is further down this line I will be switching completely to open office.
0Comment| 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 14, 2014
I had to upgrade several programs due to a new computer w Windows 7. Microsoft seems to be the only company whose software UI gets worse over time. Excel is much more tedious and confusing than the ten-year old version. It takes me much more time than it used to to create, format, and print a spreadsheet. I still haven't been able to restore Outlook 2013 to the functionality I had with 2003. They replaced or augmented the old hierarchical contacts categories with color coded categories. Plus scrambling the UI. A mess in my opinion. Worst software on the planet.
0Comment| 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 25, 2014
I just want to add a voice of reason among all the negative reviews.

First of all, for those bashing on Microsoft and other software companies for the level of support out there these days, please know that the reason that these companies are making many of the decisions they are making, is because of the wholesale move to the free "cloud" apps offered by so many. Think about it, for example, if all of the people using free email services would pay even one dollar for the service, there would suddenly be Billions of dollars available for product development and support. So I say, pay up and let's not all be so "free internet app" bandwagon happy. There's no such thing as a free lunch, is the old still holds true today.

That said, this is great software. I recently upgraded a small company that was still using Office 2003. This new Office 2013 installed without a hitch on older computers, and it even imported all the email and account settings. Each user was up and running in minutes and they are loving it. I was able to activate all of the copies using one address. This version of Office is great, go ahead and buy it, ignore the haters. The interface is clean and modern as it should be, and everything just works. If you are installing on a computer with an older version of Office, once you un-install the old version, go to Programs and Features, right click on Office 2013, click change, and repair. This will associate the file types with the new version of Office.

Other than that, buy it, use it, and be happy..!!! If you don't like it, use something else...and be happy...!!! :-)
11 comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Questions? Get fast answers from reviewers

Please make sure that you've entered a valid question. You can edit your question or post anyway.
Please enter a question.
See all 48 answered questions

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.