As we've observed from the recent Windows 8 release preview, Microsoft is focused squarely at improving the tablet experience and taking desktop keyboard and mouse users for granted.
The same appears to be true of Office 2013, which adds a touch mode in most modules, implements two Metro-style components and transforms its interface into a flatter, cleaner and more consistent Metro-like look and feel across the suite. Features such as the ribbon, peek and seamless web and social network integration are there, sliding in and out of sight as needed.
Meanwhile, Microsoft will offer the software for download only. There will be no more software discs. For software sold in stores, there will be a license key in the box in place of the CD, with downloads and updates coming from Microsoft's store and update sites. Redmond also promises a new, synchronized release schedule, with all modules set to release at the same time for all devices.
Formerly code-named Office 15, Office 2013 is expected to be generally available in early 2013.
PUBLISHED JULY 16, 2012