A preview of Ms Word 2013 :Image courtesy of Microsoft
A preview of Ms Word 2013 :Image courtesy of Microsoft

Microsoft appears to be on the verge of launching the latest version of Office, according to a tweet the official Office Twitter account posted over the weekend. The tweet includes a picture of what Microsoft is setting up in New York City’s Bryant Park for launch day, specifying Jan. 29 as the day of the event.

The new version of Office, Office 2013, represents a rethink of the productivity software. Microsoft re-designed Office for Windows 8, changing aspects of the design, features and back end to better suit a world of touchscreens, cloud connectivity and social networks.

Although the new Office is designed for Windows 8 machines, it’s not actually a Windows 8 app. Office still runs in the traditional desktop environment, even on Windows RT devices.

The software is now available via subscription, as opposed to the “pay once, for one machine” approach of the past. When a customer buys Office, they will be able to download it and install it on up to five machines (PCs, Macs or a mix). A subscription entitles multiple users to cloud content (such as continually updated templates), 20GB of SkyDrive storage, 60 minutes of Skype service and updates for new versions of the apps.

For businesses, things work a little differently. While a user can still install the software on up to five devices, the subscription is limited to one user.

Pricing for the two versions is as follows: $99.95 a year for consumer, and $149.99 a year for business. Office will still be available as a one-shot download for those who want it, $219.99 for the Home and Business edition and $399.99 for the Professional edition.

Considering that the Office 2010 has not gained that much poularity in most of the African countries as many of the users are still getting accustomed to the Office 2007, the launch of Office 2013 maynot be that much significant for many reasons among which the pricing is the major challenge in a continent where software piracy still prevails at a high rate

Credit: MASHABLE