Microsoft Office 2013 Review: Refinement, Integration, and Ribbons

Microsoft's flagship suite of productivity software, Office 2013, offers enhanced integration and many refinements over the previous version. By Chris Eaves

Microsoft's flagship suite of productivity software, Office 2013, offers enhanced integration and many refinements over the previous 2010 iteration of the suite. The company has also created a two-paths-to-ownership approach of the software - rent it for a year or buy it for one device. For more information on how to decide which path is the best for you, check out our “Rent vs. Buy” article.

None of the applications in Office 2013 are radically different from their 2010 brethren. If you've been holding off an upgrade in the hopes that the “ribbon” feature from 2007 and 2010 would go away, you are out of luck. The much maligned (for some, anyway) ribbon remains the navigational cornerstone of the Office suite.

Overall, Office 2013 is smoother, more user friendly and pleasant to use than any previous version of the Office productivity suite. It's not leaps and bounds above previous incarnations, but Microsoft has paid attention to the details and created a product that is well refined and offers the subtle joy that a well-designed product can deliver.

Let's go app by app and take a look at what's new... for better or worse.

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