Have You Heard the News? Office 2013 is in Public Beta!

Just in case you might have missed it, Microsoft announced the July 16 Beta release of the latest version of their flagship software, Office 2013. As with past releases, this is not just limited to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint (known as “Office Home and Student” edition), but also SharePoint Server 2013! I personally have downloaded and installed Office 2013 Professional Plus onto my personal machine, replacing Office 2010. First reactions: very simple interface, with everything almost blending together in the UI with the lighter color tones. It does, however, also boast some cool new features, many of which I have yet to discover. Here is a snapshot of Word 2013 if you’re curious:

I did have an issue when I upgraded from Office 2010 to Office 2013.  Even though I selected to uninstall old products and install 2013 (Microsoft has an option where you can run them side–side), my Office 13 apps did not open due to an error that says Microsoft Office Bootstrapper has stopped working. So I ended up removing Office 2013, then removed Office 2010, reinstalled Office 2013 and everything worked again. Whew! Even all the settings transferred without any problems, yeah!

But you’re not here to hear about client-side Office 2013, you’re here for one thing and one thing only: SharePoint, ba! As in the past, SharePoint comes in two flavors: SharePoint Foundation 2013 (free) and SharePoint Server 2013 (show me the money!). There are many architectural and end user experience changes that I could write pages and pages about what to expect, but instead, I recommend following the hash tag #SharePoint2013 on Twitter to find out the latest scoop on what SharePoint 2013 has to offer. An especially good starting point would be Joel Oleson’s blog post, SharePoint 2013 Top 10 New Features. If you’re a brave soul, and want to give SharePoint 2013 a try yourself, I STRONGLY urge you to review the Hardware and Software Requirements for SharePoint 2013. Take note that to run a single server deployment with built-in database, you will need 24GB of RAM for SharePoint Server 2013 (8 GB for Foundation). Here is a sneak peek at the new Team Site:

One of the new features (well partly old and partly new) is the Apps. Apps encompass what were formerly known as “Web Parts” but are also much more in the bargain. One new aspect of Apps is the ability to sell them through the new Microsoft Office Store. Note: Due to the store still being in Beta, the URL might change, so please click Store (Beta) on the top of the page to access it. Below is an image depicting a collection of Apps that have already been reviewed and approved Microsoft’s SharePoint team, and guess what? Bamboo Solutions is about to publish our first app, none other than our wildly popular World Clock and Weather App! More to come about the App release later this week but, in the meantime, why not check out some of the other Apps that are already available through the Office Store?

Keep your ears open and your eyes peeled, as Bamboo will begin releasing SharePoint 2013 products later this year!