Mavericks was only the one part of the big updates Apple announced today. The other was with iWork and iLife. iWork is Apple’s version of Microsoft Office with apps like Pages (Apple’s version of Word), Numbers (Excel) and Keynote (PowerPoint while iLife is Apple’s famous suite of creative apps like Garage Band, iMovie and iPhoto. All are solid apps but ones that haven’t been updated in a while. With the release of OS X Mavericks Apple finally updated these apps giving them some nice redesigns and new features like the ability to have everything your working on synced in iCloud so you can use it on any device (iOS, Mac or in the case of iWork, even Windows using iCloud.com). But most importantly Apple did something completely unexpected– they made iWork for OS X free with the purchase of any new Mac and iWork for iOS free with the purchase of any new iOS device.
Apple already made iWork, iPhoto and iMovie free for new iOS devices back at the new iPhone launch last month. Making iWork free for OS X is big for anyone looking to get a new MacBook Air or Pro. With iWork available as a free download you can be ready for work right when you get your new Mac for no extra cost. When you consider that the new Office 365 costs $79 a year (for 4 years with student discount, $99 a year after), iWork being free is all the more important. Apple has lowered the price gap between getting a Mac and getting a Windows PC. Whether you were getting a Mac or PC you were probably going to get Office too but the new iWork for many will be a more the suitable replacement at no extra cost compared to paying a minimum of $320 extra for Office over 4 years with a new PC.
The new iWork and iLife apps are available to download from the Mac and iOS App Stores.
Curious to try out Microsoft’s new Office 365? Just got a new PC or Mac and want a demo version of Office to use so you don’t need to buy it right away? Well you’re in luck as Microsoft just announced a new deal for students that you are going to want to check out.
Usually Microsoft lets people download demo versions of Office for just one month, but starting today Microsoft will allow college students and teachers to get 3 free months of Office 365 and an extra 20 GB of Microsoft’s Skydrive cloud storage (giving you 27 GB of free storage in the cloud. Skydrive is Microsoft’s version of iCloud/Google Drive/Dropbox and allows you to easily access any files you store on there from anywhere you have internet access). All you have to do to get this deal is go to the Office for Students site and sign up using your .edu email address. That’s it and it will get you the free 3 months of Microsoft’s latest and greatest version of Office, including full versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint (if you’re on Windows or Mac) and OneNote (Windows-only). And if you share the offer on Facebook you will get yourself an additional 3 months of free Office.
Office 365 University usually costs $79.99 a year for students (for up to 4 years, after that it is the usual $99.99 a year non-students pay), but with this you can make that deal for cheaper Office last an extra semester longer.
More info: Microsoft
Whether you are in high school or college, PC or Mac, there is one program that pretty much everyone uses, and that is Microsoft Office. Yesterday Microsoft released the next version of Office, called Office 2013 and Office 365. Both versions of Office have the same Word, PowerPoint, OneNote and Excel at its core that we all know and love and you can still easily take notes and make documents, presentations and spreadsheets. In Office 2013, Microsoft has added some pretty useful features including the ability to edit PDFs in Word (so when someone sends you a form to fill out you don’t need to print it and fill it out by hand), and better templates and themes for PowerPoint including some new themes designed for widescreens (so your presentations look better even when shown on an HDTV). Microsoft also made some improvements to make Office look much nicer and be much easier to use on Windows 8 touchscreens and tablets.
And while these are just some of the many nice improvements to the classic Office apps, the biggest news here is the pricing. In the past you had one option when it came to getting Office and that was to buy it. You would own that version of Office and be able to put it on up to 3 computers (assuming you bought Office Home and Student). While you can still buy Office, Microsoft today also announced the availability of Office 365, a version of Office 2013 that you pay for monthly or yearly instead of just buying it outright. With an Office 365 subscription Microsoft offers some interesting benefits including 60 free Skype minutes a month for calling cell phones or landlines from Skype (Microsoft bought Skype a couple of years ago), constant software updates so your version of Office is always up to date, the ability to install on up to 5 PCs or Macs (the Macs would the most recent version of Office for Mac, in this case Office for Mac 2011), and 20 GB extra of SkyDrive storage (Microsoft’s version of Dropbox, iCloud, Google Drive etc.) so you can save all of your work online “in the cloud.” The coolest feature of all though is the ability to go online and stream your version of Office to any computer running Windows 7 or Windows 8. This means that you can go to a friend’s house or a computer in school and be able to use the latest version of Office on that computer without having to re-download the new Office. And on other computers like Macs or Windows XP computers you can do this through any browser just by going to office.com.
Pricing for the versions of Office you’ll most likely be interested is like this:
- Office 2013 Home and Student– Includes Word, OneNote, PowerPoint and Excel. $139.99 to own for one PC forever.
- Office 365 Home Premium– Includes Word, OneNote, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook (the famous email app), Publisher (for creating things like brochures and flyers– a very under-rated Office app), Access (for creating databases). Renting for $99.99 a year or $9.99 a month. This also has all the Office 365 features mentioned above like the Skype minutes, installing on 5 PCs or Macs, streaming Office apps and extra Skydrive storage.
- Office 365 University– All the benefits of Office 365 Home Premium but for students. The pricing of Office 365 University is $79.99 a year for 4 years, though you can only install on two computers instead of 5. As of right now this looks to be for college students only, but we’ve reached out to Microsoft to see if high school students can take also advantage of this deal.
Now what version is best for you? That’s a tough question. Microsoft is pushing the Office 365 version hard, and its got a lot of great features. If your family has multiple computers or you and a couple of friends all just got new computers and all need to buy Office– and someone in either group is still in college– it may make sense to get the Office 365 University pack. Yes you don’t actually “own” it and will need to pay $79.99 a year, but when divided between multiple people it looks like a great deal. If it’s just you, then getting the Office 2013 Home and Student edition could be your best bet as you will actually be owning all the main parts of Office– Word, OneNote, Excel and PowerPoint– forever. We’ve only spent a couple of minutes with Office 2013, and while its very good and we like it, we still need to look at Office 365 to see which will be the better deal.
For those curious about to try out the new Office for themselves, Microsoft is offering a free one month trial here, though be careful to make sure that it doesn’t accidentally delete you older, purchased version of Office by mistake (it shouldn’t but better make sure you don’t see a screen saying “we need to remove older versions” just to be safe).
For all the details on whats new in Office 2013 check out Microsoft’s Office site here.
UPDATE: A Microsoft spokesperson let us know that only “full- and part-time enrolled university and college students, faculty and staff” will be able to take advantage of the Office 365 University deal. Sorry high school readers.
Pic of PowerPoint from The Verge
A lot (if not pretty much all) of us have relied on Microsoft’s Office software for our lives over the years, whether for notes, school papers, or creating fliers. Every couple of years Microsoft introduces a major revision to the Office line, and 2010 is another one of those years. And while the basics of PowerPoint, Word, OneNote and all the other Office programs have stayed the same, there have been some pretty solid improvements that while may not be “must haves,” are without question appreciated and make Office even better and easier to use.
I’ve been testing out the beta (i.e. testing, not final) version of Office 2010 as my main Office suite for the past couple of months– using it to write papers, take notes, manage email, and create presentations; and I got to say– I really like it better than the older Office 2007. I’m not gonna go into a full out review of the new Office yet (partly because not everything is finalized in the beta I’m using), but here are a few thoughts.