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CNET First Look
Office 2013 keeps you connected everywhereMicrosoft's new Office 365 Home Premium is out today and with a redesigned interface, upgrades to all the core apps, and excellent cloud connectivity, you'll be able to work from anywhere.
-Microsoft made Office 365 Home Premium widely available today. But I got an early review copy of Microsoft's productivity suite so you can check it out right now. I'm Jason Parker for CNET and this is a first look at Microsoft Office 365 Home Premium. It's important note that I'm only scraping the service of new features in the interest of time. With the tiled interface of Windows phones in the Metro UI design in Windows 8, it's clear Microsoft is trying to reinvent the way you interact with your software. Now with Office 365 Home Premium, Microsoft is also reinventing the way you interact with your office suite. In fact, I'll be demonstrating the new features in this video on a Samsung tablet running Windows 8. It's important to note that you can use office on desk top computers with all the same features, but for the full Windows 8 experience, we're going to see it on the Samsung tablet. Now, let's check out some of the new features. I'll start with the well-known word processing software, Microsoft Word. Immediately upon launch, you'll notice a new start page. Here, you'll be able to open recent documents you have worked on or you can choose from several templates. Word remembers what templates you use most and will display relevant templates at the top. The recent documents in templates start page will also show up in Excel and PowerPoint. Now, I open a demo document I made. You'll notice the somewhat controversial tool, the ribbon, is still here, but the buttons have been flattened for a more simplified and minimalist look. Not a fan of the ribbon? Not to worry. To get a clearer view, simply touch the small arrow on the right to get rid of the ribbon. If you need a back for heavy editing or other more complex word processing tools, just touch any of the tab headings at the top to bring it back. You can then pin it open using a button on the right or let it collapse again when you're finished. Now let's have a look at PowerPoint. Right away, you'll notice a similar start page with recent presentations on the left and several pre-made themes to choose from on the right. Once in a presentation, PowerPoint offers all the features you've grown accustomed to then previous versions, but had several more, all of which you can use with a touchscreen or desk top interface. Another new welcome enhancement in PowerPoint is the presenter view. Now, when you're presenting with a second screen like a project for example, you'll now have a view on your computer that offers behind the scenes tools so you always know what's coming next. You have full control over your slides here and you have other useful tools like a laser pointer to point out specific items to your audience. You can also have notes over on the right to remind you of topics to cover during your presentation. All of these tools are hidden from your audience as your presentation plays on the projector. In Excel, Microsoft has added a number of new tools to help you visualize and interact with your data. One new feature that illustrates this concept is the addition of recommended charts. Rather than having to build a nice looking chart from scratch, you can highlight your data, click a small tab below your selection and Excel automatically lifts out recommended charts. Also extremely helpful are the quick previews of each chart type so you know what you're going to get with your selection. That's all we have time for today. But the new Office 365 Home Premium also includes updates for Access, Publisher, Outlook, and OneNote. It's clear from the features I've used that Microsoft is going all in on the touch screen interface and it looks like they did a good job making it work on the desk top as well. In the end, we'll have to wait and see how users respond to the new style of using Microsoft Office. I'm Jason Parker for CNET and this has been a first look at Office 365 Home Premium. Thanks for watching.