A new feature called Mailtips will bring possible issues to your attention, such as if you fail to forward an attachment. In corporate environments where IT pros set policies for email, Outlook will point out potential violations.
One curious innovation: The Calendar view now includes a couple of days worth of weather information.
OneNote, Publisher, and more
Microsoft has endowed other Office apps with design improvements similar to those in the big core programs, including the capability to suppress all or part of the ribbon, and the landing page at launch. OneNote, for example, benefits from the easy screenshot capture in Word and PowerPoint; it also sports improved tools for modifying tables, and it can update embedded Excel and Visio files when their content changes. As with other Office apps, you can share a OneNote notebook stored online by sending a link for viewing and, if you allow it, editing the content from a browser.
Publisher 2013 offers the same design, formatting, and design tools as Word and PowerPoint do. It now lets you collect images on the area next to a document, and then try them one at a time by using a Swap Image button.
Visio 2013, Microsofts business-diagramming app, gets new styles and templates. It also supports collaboration features, but only for SharePoint users or Office 365 subscriberstheres no free SkyDrive support, which makes sense for such a hard-core business program. A new wizard helps you link graphical elements in your diagrams to data sources, so if the data changes, the diagram does too. Sources supported include Excel, SQL server, and SharePoint External Lists.
Microsoft offers two versions of Project 2013 with standard perpetual licenses: Project Professional and Project Standard. But the push with Office 2013 is clearly for the Office 365 version, or at least a version that can be hosted within a business.
Is Office 2013 a must-have upgrade? Not necessarily for Office 2010 users. But people whose interactions with Office occur primarily on desktop computers within the big four core appsWord, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlookwill generally find more formatting options than ever, plus some new view modes, including options for collapsing or even hiding the ubiquitous ribbon introduced in Office 2007. (In collapsed view you see only the tab headings.)
Overall Im happy with the changes introduced in Office 2013. They refine a lot of the features in Office 2010, and if investing in the subscription-based Office 365 license makes sense financially for you, the upgrade is a no-brainer.