Microsoft: Can it make Office 2013 social?

The software giant sees Office 2013 as a workspace that'll integrate documents as well as your social feeds courtesy of Yammer and Skype integration.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Microsoft unveiled Office 2013 and delivered a hefty dose of social networking name dropping---especially those tools recently acquired.

The Office 2013 demo, delivered by Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate vice president of the Office division, dropped in a bit of Yammer, a big dose of Skype integration and the usual complement of SharePoint hooks.

Microsoft's underlying message: Office will be social and you'll be following documents, collaborating and using the latest version of the company's productivity suite as your primary work space. Photos: James Martin, CNET


"We're taking a very broad view of social," said Koenigsbauer.

Among the key items:

  • Office's newsfeed purchase allows you to comment and see threaded replies.
  • There's new in-line document and media viewer integrated with SharePoint.
  • The UI resembles your Facebook and Twitter stream in Office experiences.

Microsoft's game plan is to integrate presence into Office. Will it work?

Ed Bott:  Microsoft defends desktop while moving Office 2013 to the cloud | Office 2013: Editions at a glance and FAQ | Office 2013: A closer look (in-depth screenshot gallery) | Mary Jo Foley: Microsoft's new Office: The cloud finally takes center stage  |  Microsoft's new Office: More strategic than Windows 8?

CNET: Office 2013 roundup 

CNET's Jay Greene noted that Microsoft is redesigning bloat. It is possible that all these social features may be seen as too much of a good thing. However, Office is a cash cow so the argument that Microsoft adds too much hasn't hurt the financial numbers.

In the end, Microsoft had no choice but to take Office, defend the desktop, integrate cloud and yes go social in a big way.

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