Microsoft Office 2013 Review

Microsoft Office is undoubtedly a great tool (although I personally prefer Thunderbird to Outlook). I recently wrote about how you can get a Microsoft Office 2013 60 day trial for free and since then I’ve been using Office 2013 to see how it fairs against previous versions.

I use Office 2010 quite a lot whilst in work, so I am certainly no stranger to it. Office 2013 on the surface does feel like nothing more than an incremental upgrade from Office 2010, in terms of looks at least. Microsoft have updated the look and feel of Office 2013 somewhat so that the look and feel fits in with the new plain pastel colours of Windows 8 and Microsoft’s online services like Skydrive and Outlook.

New look Word 2013

Looks are only skin deep

The new look interface isn’t the only new feature in Office 2013 though. The Microsoft Office Elves have been hard at work and have added some awesome new features.

Online Integration

Personally I don’t use SkyDrive but I do have a SkyDrive account which is part of my account (which I also don’t use). However, for those that do use SkyDrive and for their emails I think you will find Office 2013 very useful. When you fire up Office 2013 for the first time it asks you to sign in to your Microsoft account (although this is optional). If you do enable this feature then you thought you can save directly to your SkyDrive account direct from your desktop.

Saving to SkyDrive directly from your desktop is very easy in Office 2013

Blog From Your Desktop

Earlier on in the year Microsoft announced that they would no longer be maintaining Windows Live Writer. This news had a lot of bloggers worried as Windows Live Writer is widely regarded as one of, if not the best 3rd part blogging tool available today (personally I prefer the WordPress editor).

Well, fear not intrepid bloggers. Microsoft have written a blogging feature directly into Office 2013. I’m writing this article on it right now and I have to be honest, it’s excellent. Setting up the connection to RefuGeeks was as simple as typing in the URL, Username & Password for my account. Everything just works. It’s now clear why Microsoft ceased development of Windows Live Writer as having it built into Word makes a lot of sense.

Blogging in Word 2013 couldn’t be easier

Outlook 2013

Outlook has been brought bang up to date, sporting a very clean and crisp look (as have all the Office 2013 apps). The performance of Outlook seemed ok to me, definitely an improvement on Outlook 2010 when doing things like selecting multiple email messages, but unfortunately it still isn’t a patch on Thunderbird for me.

Outlook can now also link to social networks like Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn. I connected my test machine to my Facebook account but I couldn’t for the life of me find anywhere to look at or manage my Facebook stream once it was connected.

Overall Performance

I’ve been running Office 2013 in a Windows 7 virtual machine as I am an Ubuntu user. I did find the performance to be sluggish at times however, that may be due to the mediocre specs I gave to the virtual machine (only 2GB RAM).

Opening and closing apps was seemed no quicker or slower that previous versions of Office but because of the lighter look to the new version, I just assumed it would be lighter and quicker on system resources also. This may just be in my mind though.


Office 2013 is ok, personally I will probably upgrade my work machine from 2010 to 2013 but that’s mainly because I will get the upgrade for free through work. If it where me paying though, I don’t think I would pay at least £100 for 2013. I’d rather stick with Office 2007/2010 and Windows Live Writer installed separately – if I used Windows of course. You always have the free option of LibreOffice as well.

Have any of you guys used the Microsoft Office 2013 trial yet? Why not tell us what you think in the comments below, or head over to our forums.

Microsoft Office 2013 Review
User Rating: 0 (0 votes)
  • Ankur

    This time I have to disagree. MS office is one software which i find too good and not comparable to libre office. Its so easy to use and I can do so much with it which takes more effort in libre office.

    • Cowboy Nick A

      LibreOffice could definitely get some ideas from Microsoft Office. To this day, I haven’t seen any office suite surpass Office. Krita, LibreOffice, and iWork are all inferior from my experience.

  • qvoling

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  • Lex

    i disagree about the performance, i find it buttery smooth on my notebook but i’m not running it in a vm…. i also have 8gb of ram…

    i dunno but i think its very foolish to try and review a softwares performance on a VM and then complain that its sluglish.