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Almost everything that Microsoft has released thus far in 2012 seems to revolve around the new Windows 8 operating system. The new Surface tablet PC will give users an optimal Windows 8 experience. Internet Explorer 10 works best on Windows 8 enabled machines, etc. Now, there’s Microsoft Office 2013.

On July 16, 2012, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer held a press conference in San Francisco to introduce a preview version of the upcoming Office 2013. As one might expect, Office 2013 is compatible with touchscreen-enabled computers, particularly tablets. It’s also cloud-friendly.

Microsoft Office 2013 will retain many of the key features that people are familiar with using in Office 2010. Larger print and greater spacing between words and icons on the ribbon facilitate use via touchscreen tablets and other touch-enabled machines. New features include an ability to import PDFs directly into Word, edit them and then either save them as Word or PDF documents. With Excel, the Quick Analysis tool will prompt the program to recommend what types of charts or graphs would ideally showcase selected spreadsheet data.

According to Michael Brown, senior editor of PCWorld, “Another cool feature [of Office 2013] is the ability to connect to online resources and bring them inside your documents. For example, you can use Bing to search the Web for videos, without leaving Word, and then embed the HTML code for that video in your document. Link your SkyDrive account to your Flickr account, and you can jump to your online photo collection and embed photos directly in the document — again, without ever leaving Word.”

Anyone who has ever collaborated on a document using Track Changes will know how confusing all the different font colors and comment boxes make things. With Office 2013, changes and comments remain hidden until called upon. A horizontal line beneath the altered text indicates that changes have been made. A vertical line beside a section of text indicates that a comment has been inserted. Clicking on the horizontal line reveals the changes, and clicking on the vertical line reveals the comments.

Once again, managed IT services providers (MSPs) have a lot of work to do. Before Office 2013 finally goes on the market, MSPs will have to become familiar with the software and all of its pluses and minuses. Business leaders will want to know the advantages and disadvantages of Office 2013 before they start using.

Now is the time for MSPs to start planning seminars and webinars to help their clients and prospects to understand how to use Office 2013 as well as Microsoft’s many other impending new technologies. And now is the time for business leaders to start getting themselves and their teams familiar with what they may be offered in the near future.

Get your preview copy of Microsoft Office 2013 today at  Start working with your marketing team or marketing coach today about how to best leverage Microsoft Office 2013 in your marketing strategy.  Don’t have a marketing coach or marketing team for your MSP.  Not to worry, call me directly at 863.451.3088 and I will help you out.

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