Microsoft Office 2013 to Feature New Social Features

Now that Microsoft Office 2013 has been officially announced, more and more details are coming out of the woodwork. Perhaps the most interesting of these is the inclusion of innovative social media that will hopefully encourage users to collaborate with ease.

Kirk Koenigsbauer, the corporate vice president for Office, showed off the new video chat feature called Microsoft Lync during a recent press conference. He highlighted how he could invite a colleague to a live meeting just by dragging and dropping the contact.

A fellow participant also showed how he could open up a PowerPoint presentation and use a shared screen to highlight elements of his work to all members of the conversation. Koenigsbauer also highlighted how other members of the conversation could use a touch screen device to write notes onto the shared screen.

Microsoft SharePoint (available from TSG) is also going to benefit from these new social features. It will have a “cleaner/simpler” design than before and will borrow the look and feel of popular social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Yammer; the latter of which was recently purchased Microsoft.

Another big acquisition of Microsoft was Skype. This will be similarly integrated into Office and SharePoint to encourage users to connect. People with Office will be able to make Skype calls directly from Microsoft Outlook and even import their existing contacts list.