It's been about three years since Microsoft unveiled a new version of Office, and particularly with Windows 8 just months away from dropping, the software has been well overdue for an upgrade. Today, Redmond unveiled the latest edition -- Office 2013 (aka Office 15) -- which the company will be showing in a preview stage until the final version goes on sale (hit up the source link if you want to download it for yourself).
Perhaps the biggest news isn't any single feature Microsoft's added to Word (hello, easy YouTube embeds!), but how and where you'll access your files. With this version, the company is moving to a subscription-based model wherein your Office files are tied to your Microsoft ID. Once you sign up, you can download the various desktop apps to a certain number of devices and, as with Windows 8, your settings, SkyDrive files and even the place where you left off in a document will follow you from device to device. (It's telling, we think, that files now save to the cloud by default.) As you'd expect, too, this version is also more tablet-friendly than editions past, with a touch mode that widens the spacing between onscreen objects and flattens menus. In Word and PowerPoint, you'll also find a read-only mode that turns documents into full-screen editions, whose pages you can swipe through as you would an e-book or digital magazine.
Of course, Microsoft included plenty of granular updates like PDF editing and a behind-the-scenes Presenter View in PowerPoint. Fortunately for you, curious power users, we've been spending the better part of a week testing the software on a Samsung Series 7 Slate loaded up with Windows 8. So join us past the break where we'll give you a detailed breakdown of what's new, along with screenshots and detailed first impressions.
Looking to snag a mobile hotspot with your pending Ultrabook purchase? If so, Sprint is looking to be the first US carrier to oblige with a package deal. The wireless provider will bundle the Lenovo IdeaPad U310 with a 3G / 4G mobile hotspot for $849 -- plus a monthly bill of either $34.99 or $49.99 for the added connectivity. If that wasn't enough to get you to pull the trigger, the outfit has also thrown in three months of service for free once you commit to two years of Sprint's mobile broadband. You'll be strapped with the Core i5 CPU version of the Ultrabook, but you'll be able to decide between either a MiFi or an Overdrive Pro for the hotspot option. Itchin' to take the plunge? Hit that second source link below to sign up and part with your funds.
The Nexus Q hacks are coming fast and furious now, and inching closer to true usefulness with each one. The latest is easily the most exciting -- a port of full-blown CyanogenMod 9 and XMBC for Android. While the hack was the work of the actual CM team, the Q is not an officially supported device. There are still plenty of quirks and bugs to iron out, but WiFi and Bluetooth are both up and running. If you've got one of the expertly crafted magnesium spheres, there's nothing stopping you from blessing it with a little custom ROM love. Just know that there's still lots of work to do, especially on the XMBC for Android front which is still very much in the experimental stage. To see CM9 in action check out the video after the break and hit up the more coverage link for install instructions.
Hearing that fuel cells aren't the most efficient thing in the world shouldn't take you by surprise, but a determination by one Alfred Anderson just might. The chemistry professor from Case Western Reserve University is now making a case for using something other than platinum as the "catalyst most commonly used to convert chemical energy to electricity." According to him: "Using platinum is like putting a resistor in the system." To be fair, Anderson still isn't sure which material should replace it, but he's adamant that wizards in the field should be spending their time looking for substitutes instead of tweaking platinum further. Currently, he's working with other researchers in order to find something that'll one-up what we're using today, and if you're into oodles of technobabble, you can dig into the ins and outs of his claims in the source link below.
It's been a long three weeks since iOS 6 beta 2 arrived to refine Apple's next mobile OS, so it's with some relief that beta 3 has just popped up as an over-the-air update. As always, the attention is on mending bugs and bringing the code closer to what an everyday iPad, iPhone or iPod touch owner will see when all is said and done. Those of us regular users pining for Passbook will still have a number of reasons to wait awhile before we can get our own direct taste in the fall -- not the least of which is Apple's recent clampdown on bootleg access.
Due to numerous marketing materials, FCC documents and other leaks, T-Mobile hasn't exactly made it a secret that the Samsung Galaxy Note would be coming to its network sometime soon. We've been begging the company to just come clean about it and confirm the inevitable, and a spokesperson has finally pulled the trigger, announcing on Twitter that it indeed is going to be coming to the lineup. This is unfortunately all the carrier is willing to divulge at this time, however, as we were told in a separate email that it will have "more details to share in the coming weeks." We're now strongly considering a pool on whether or not it'll arrive before a rumored sequel is announced.
The waiting is the hardest part -- just ask stateside fans of the Xperia NXT series. But in a welcome change of fortune, Sony's breaking down international borders and making its Android trio available unlocked for American mitts. Interested parties can hit up Sony stores or visit the usual online mega retailers now to snag the 12-megapixel-toting Xperia S, WhiteMagic-y P and wee U for $560, $480 and $300, respectively. You'll have to hitch your wireless ride to AT&T to take full advantage of the goods and there's no 4G LTE service to speak of, but hey, beggars can't be choosers. Hit up the source link below to get'em while they're hot.