Windows 8 and Office 2013 Evaluation – First Impressions

Before I do the permanent set up of my new PC, I took the opportunity to set it up with Windows 8 and Office 2013. These are my first impressions, based on a few hours exploring ans installing and are mostly good to excellent, with one major exception. So let’s get that out of the way.

Windows 8 is Different

My first impression is, that if implemented in its standard form, Windows 8 will drive most regular desktop PC based end users nuts with frustration.  The interface might initially be too different for them. Discussions I have heard about organisations considering customised desktops now make sense.

As a non typical, but largely desktop based end user, I was within about 30 minutes beginning to get a feel for where things would be, and easily connecting to Twitter  LinkedIn and Google and installing IIS and Hyper V tools. I can see users having a  good experience with a touch screen.

Shame about the Windows 8 interface, because Office 2013 is really very impressive.  Windows 8 and Office 2013 are clearly meant to go together. I have had comments from colleagues about the Office 2013 interface. On Windows 8 it looks at home. Even on a desktop PC.

So what is impressive about Office 2013?

The connection to SharePoint and Office 365.

Over recent months as I find myself training on site more and more, I am seeing the value of having my documents and resources in a SharePoint library in the “cloud” . My recent PC troubles have confirmed this is the direction for my company and training documents.

Previously the value in Office 365 for me was in exchange based email and SharePoint Calendars. My document creation process is still local disk based with some documents going to SharePoint libraries. In part because the integration between Office on the desktop and SharePoint online wasn’t seamless.

In Office 2013, the integration to Office 365  is easy to set up and seamless once done. When I go to my  permanent set up on my PC I will be directing my documents directly into SharePoint as they are created. And I will be finding the time to upgrade my laptop as well, to get the same integration there as well.

The Office 365 integration makes sharing, collaborating and accessing documents for mobile or dispersed end users in small and very small organisations very, very easy. It brings out the true potential of Office 365 much more that Office 2010 did. Used to its potential this could give a nimble small organisation a flexible edge over some corporate dinosaur stuck on Office 2003. At modest cost too.

Office 2013 probably has other features, I was so taken with trying the SharePoint/Office 365 integration I didn’t even notice…

More on that another time.

Adobe E-Learning Suite

Also more on installing Adobe E-Learning Suite on Windows 8 next time. (Acrobat X Professional doesn’t install – but Acrobat XI might…)

Regards

Steven