Microsoft has published clearer system requirements for deploying Office 2013 on its Technet website. Users still running Windows XP and Vista may be disappointed to hear that Office 2013 will not be compatible either operating system. The new version Office will only be compatible with Windows 7, 8, 2008 R2 Server and 2012 Server.

Dropping support for Windows XP is not surprising, but Vista users may feel a little sore after the stark reality of impending abandonment manages to set in. Keep in mind Vista already reached its end-of-life milestone in April, so excluding Vista from IE10 -- and now Office 2013 -- actually isn't very surprising at all.

For users who are running a compatible operating system, they'll still need to meet a set of minimum hardware requirements too. 

  • CPU: 1GHz of faster x86 or x64 processor
  • RAM: 1GB for x86 or 2GB for x64
  • Storage: 3GB of available space
  • Operating System: Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Server 2008 R2, or Windows Server 2012
  • Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer 8, 9, or 10; Mozilla Firefox 10.x or a later version; Apple Safari 5; or Google Chrome 17.x.
  • .NET version: 3.5 or higher
  • Multi-touch: A touch-enabled device is required to use any multi-touch functionality. However, all features and functionality are always available by using a keyboard, mouse, or other standard or accessible input device. Note that new touch features are optimized for use with Windows 8.
  • Hardware acceleration requires DirectX10-compatible graphics card

New features in Microsoft Office 2013 include a "flatter" look which borrows heavily from Windows 8 and its Metro interface and a greater focus on touchscreen accessibility with tiles and other finger-friendly UI changes. 2013 will include cloud integration, bookmarks, PDF editing, Skype integration and various other improvements, changes and additions.