Office 2013: To upgrade or not to upgrade

By Julio Franco · 31 replies
Feb 4, 2013
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  1. For many of us, Office 2007 brought some unsettling changes. The ‘ribbon’ interface was tough for some users to get the hang of, but brought an exciting new way to interact with word processing. Office 2010 refined the features of...

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  2. lawfer

    lawfer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,270   +91

    For the students out there, there's an even better deal than the ones mentioned in the article:

    It's called Office 365 University. For $79.99 you get the entire Office suite plus 20GB of SkyDrive storage (added to whatever amount you already have if you have SkyDrive), and 60 minutes of Skype calls every month, for 4 years.


    Also, Office sucks for touch. Microsoft hasn't "addressed" anything. But you know what? They don't really have to.

    Microsoft does not deserve any credit for this version of Office being advertised as Touch-friendly. It isn't. But I won't also say Office was ever meant for touch. It just won't be. I think they did a good enough of a job adapting a M/K interface for touch as much as possible without breaking what works. But I don't expect the next version of Office to be anything of what most tech journalist envision: a complete, touch-friendly suite.

    A stripped-down, cheaper, touch-friendly version, however, doesn't sound far-fetched.

    Personally, I upgraded but I took advantage of the Home Use Program, so I got it for only $10. Here's the link for those who work for a large business: Sign up with your corporate email.

    Lastly, I recommend you upgrade if you're still on 2007. If you are on 2010, only upgrade if you can take advantage of the aforementioned deals. Otherwise, there's no real reason.
    Julio Franco and treeski like this.
  3. treeski

    treeski TS Evangelist Posts: 990   +233

    I think this is exactly right. They have already outed a (incomplete, IMO) metro version of OneNote.
  4. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,128   +982

    Reminder:- If it isn't broken, then don't fix it!

    Unless you have a touch panel system, IMO you will never need Office 2013.
  5. treeski

    treeski TS Evangelist Posts: 990   +233

    Errrm... the majority worthwhile enhancements with Office 2013 have nothing to do with touch.
  6. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,128   +982

    The key word was NEED - - and by definition, enhancements are not needs. the new surface systems however NEED 2013.

    But given that I am extremely conservative, my needs are very limited :)
  7. cmbjive

    cmbjive TS Booster Posts: 777   +138

    I'll take a look once an employee discount comes along.
  8. lawfer

    lawfer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,270   +91

    OK, so this is going to sound like I'm being a ****, but trust me I'm not. This is just what coffee and a day off do to you. I'm genuinely curious as to what reasoning you used when writing your comments.

    You said unless (<-key word here) you have a panel touch system (which is commonly just called a touchscreen, but I digress...), you won't need Office, to which tresski responded that the real enhancements to the suite have nothing to do with touch. Right? Fair enough.

    But now you go on to say that, "by definition", enhancements are not needs. Well, that doesn't make sense, mostly because it is implied. But you can't say cars are not TVs. You could, however, say cats are not dogs, seeing how both are animals. "Enhancement" and "need" are not comparable. You could have said "want" is not "need", as both are comparable terms. And yes, I'm being literal.

    Even then though, in this particular case, one makes the other possible seeing how (software) enhancements are often implemented in the first place due to needs. What you incorrectly implied was that if you don't need the enhancements implemented in Office 2013, you therefore don't need a touchscreen to begin with seeing how the enhancements in Office 2013 are made for touch. That's not true, my friend.

    Even assuming the enhancements in Office 2013 were made for touch, wouldn't that then imply there was a need for their inclusion? Granted, that would also imply that, as you first said, only someone with a touch screen would find it useful, but wouldn't that mean that that need had to arise for the enhancement to be implemented?

    All I'm saying is you didn't read the article. ;)
  9. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    PDF editing and better/easier charts sound nice. I'll probably stick to 2010 though.
  10. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,128   +982

    YAWN - - I did and I just don't buy into mass marketing and hype. Heck I still use a 3g Flip phone from Nokia and
    I "don't need" an overly expensive smartphone (it has Java, GPS, texting, email, browser, contacts and calendar)
    {btw: the sole feature I do wish it had was a QR reader}.

    Frankly, I am using Open Office Suite and I dropped Office when I upgraded to Win/7 Pro (yes I needed it as the prior XP/Pro died a violent death). There isn't a single "productivity enhancement" that I don't already have in Open Software or 3rd party offerings NOR do I need any of it altogether. This makes Office 2013 and Office 365 redundant in MY case, hence NOT NEEDED.

    I am sure we will differ on this subject forever, so I've had my say and thank you for contributing yours and nominate we agree to disagree :)

    Discussion is healthy :)

    Best wishes.
  11. tonylukac

    tonylukac TS Evangelist Posts: 1,372   +69

    You might know the free open source Libre Office (formerly Open Office) was editing pdfs quite a while ago.
    kradoow likes this.
  12. Amal Perera

    Amal Perera TS Rookie

    For one thing the inability to set a local PST to download mail in outlook is a major negative for me. If I'm required to use office 2013 I probably will keep on using Outlook 2010 alongside the new word, excel etc.
  13. ypsylon

    ypsylon TS Booster Posts: 114   +21

    Who in the right frame of mind still need MS Office? Last useful was version 2000. After that only OO and now LO.
  14. W00kie

    W00kie TS Rookie

    Keep in mind the compatibility issues with outlook 2013and exchange 2003. If your organization is still using exchange 2003 you cannot use outlook 2013. You will have to stick with 2010.
  15. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    Almost anyone in an academic setting. Maybe undergrads can get by with Google Docs or OO. But, when you have to write research papers or progress reports to be submitted to you advisor for comments/edits you need to have it in MS Office format. Sure, one could write it in something else and export it to Word format, but often times the formatting gets all screwed up and time is much better spent improving your writing or doing more research than it is screwing with getting the formatting to look good in Word (especially if you have to go use a public campus computer to use Word since you don't have it installed). I have no doubt you can do more than just simple formatting in the free office suites but converting over to Word gets screwed up. Opening an edited Word document where there are comments created in there by several different people may also not work smoothly.

    When I was working, before coming back to grad school, I was also preparing progress reports and presenting data to my bosses. They used MS Office, keeping things consistent is the only logical way to do things.

    For purely home use, sure something free will work fine, but when you are collaborating with many other people, trying to use something else is just a bundle of problems or potential problems that need to be avoided.
  16. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,128   +982

    I have had great success saving Open Office in Word 200 format (.doc, .rtf) or spreadsheets in Excel .xls - - the files are fully compatible as best I can tell (but then I don't do a lot of charts/graphics either).
  17. lawfer

    lawfer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,270   +91

    We are not disagreeing on anything, you don't have an argument I counter-argued... I simply showed you your first comments were fallacious.

    Hell, we are not even talking about your needs, which are of course subjective. We were talking about your first comment, which broadly stated that unless you had a touchscreen you wouldn't need Office. This implied that the enhancements in Office were mostly (if not only) for touch, when that isn't the case as treeski pointed out. You then replied to tresski with the following: "by definition, enhancements are not needs." Which, literally speaking, doesn't make sense.

    On your second comment you ended by saying your needs were conservative, implying you were talking about yourself all along. That's all fine, but still doesn't explain why 1) this version of Office wouldn't be useful to you seeing how its enhancements have nothing to do with touch (and thus nullifying the reasoning behind your first comment) and 2) how your first comment didn't specify you were talking about yourself when you said:

    I hope you understand now.
  18. XLS Super User

    XLS Super User TS Rookie

    Office 365 is REALLY NOT a good idea for now...

    too much bugs not fixed...
    I've intensively worked with Excel 2013 for about a week and I just uninstalled the complete suite with the Microsoft " FIX IT TOOL" THAT WAS PROBABLY DEVELOPED BECAUSE OF OTHER UNSATISFIED USERS LIKE ME...

    and Outlook 2013 has way too much visual change with no added value

    from my point of view, Win8 & the Office 2013 suite are only a user friendly for NON-PROFESSIONNAL PEOPLE (maybe old people but I doubt as it's confusing without any advantage...)

    Excel Super User & Demand Forecast planner
  19. DJ_Rothenberg

    DJ_Rothenberg TS Rookie

    I prefer 2010?s interface.

    As a student I have the University version of 365 which gives me four years Skydrive and online editing (maybe I would get that anyway but I don?t know).

    I definitely do not like Outlook 2013?s handling of IMAP email. While older versions would let me choose whether to download headers only or body as well, 2013/365 only allows me to download complete messages within a predefined (by me) timeframe; if I choose not to download all my emails anything older than eg 3 months it is if does not exist and is inaccessible. I have GMail and older email is archived under various labels. I used to download complete messages in my Inbox and only headers for the rest so all my mail was accessible. Now it is not.

    Any solution to that would be very much appreciated. Or should I just stay with 2010? (I have both as originals ? with student discounts :) )
  20. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,128   +982

    That is controlled by the email server, not the IMAP client software. Many people will neglect old files (on their PCs) and old emails (both on the PC & the server) and they just accumulated. This is particularly an issue with the IMAP form of email. The email server administrator typically handles this by a procedural dump of archaic files older than so many months.
  21. JuanC2

    JuanC2 TS Rookie

    I was updated to windows 8 and Office 2013. To be honest I hated Office 2013 due to it's infinite options and multiple clicking I needed to go trough to accomplish some of the simple things I was used to do on Office 2007. Oh well, I accepted it as a hassle I will have to endure with the "new" system. But then I tried to use Microsoft Document Imaging, surprise! the genius at MS decided to kill it. I have a need to scan and save new documents and insert them on an specific place in a file containing more pages.
    I wasn't even able to modify the dozens of files I had in my "old" computer. Yes, I was able to view them with picture viewing, but I always need to modify them. So I had office 2013 removed, I don't care to find out what else MS decided to remove. Some "tech" guy recommended OneNote. Yeah, right.
  22. kradoow

    kradoow TS Rookie

    This is all just a scheme to push folks further and further from desktop apps..."the cloud" too many folks have their heads in the cloud to understand we are all going to paying lots more....
  23. The tech guy was right you can scan an image to Onenote and it is converted to text duh
  24. Too 'MANY' bugs not too "much" bugs!
  25. chugo

    chugo TS Rookie

    That's rubbish . . . if you don't have a touch screen you don't need Office 2013 . . . the whole thing about enhancements is that it addresses issues that have been identified in current or previous versions . . . therefore if you are a user of MS Office and want to make use of the enhancements because they have been lacking, then you do 'need' to upgrade . . . the fact you say you don't use advanced features and are using open source automatically discredits your comments because you wouldn't know what others 'need' . . . it is subjective . . .

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