Why Upgrading to Office 2013 Should Not be a Priority for You

Microsoft released the newest edition of its office suite (tagged Office 2013) a while back. There is also a new kid on the block that goes by the name ‘Office 365’, which many people opine provides more value for money compared to Office 2013. But the reality is that neither product absolutely necessitates an upgrade from previous versions of Microsoft’s top drawer office suite. The reasons for the same are quite simple and explained below.

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Upgrades Are Rarely Smooth

Quite a few people who have been able to get a hands-on experience with Office 2013 complained about the difficulties that can arise when confronted with the different versions of the suite, i.e. 32- and 64-bit.

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For example, the license for Office 365 covers partly both the 32- and the 64-bit versions. However, if a user is upgrading from say, Office 2010, then he or she is stuck with the same version that is already installed. Simply put, a 32-bit Office 2010 installation cannot be upgraded to a 64-bit one of either Office 2013 or Office 365. This is also true the other way around. This is certainly not the best way to encourage users to move to 64-bit programs, which is the future.

New Interface Equals More Learning

As in the past, Microsoft has made some major changes to the interface of Office 2013. While most of these changes are cosmetic in nature (e.g. the ribbon loses most of its depth and color), some of the other changes influence the very manner in which users operate the suite.

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Although not entirely bad, this reworking of the interface does put users on a fresher learning curve, which is the last thing one wants to do as it can notably hamper productivity levels.

iOS & Android Collaboration is Still Absent

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Yes, Office 365 does feature support for mobile devices but that is restricted to only Windows Phone running devices. This means you can surely forget about working on Word and Excel files from your iPad, iPhone or any other Android powered device. This is truly a disgrace in this day and age when ‘working on the go’ is more than just a fancy term. While devices have adapted their design for such changing needs (Samsung Note is a fine example), Microsoft still doesn’t deem mobile advantage important enough.

Free/Cheap Alternatives

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Of all the things working against Office 2013, the biggest perhaps is the price Microsoft is selling it for. This is more apparent when you realize that you can enjoy a majority of Office 2013’s features at a much a lower cost or even without paying anything by opting for open source applications. The range of options only widens further if you are open to using cloud based office options. Just think Zoho Docs and Google Docs!

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