3 Exciting Software Releases for 2013

Published On March 8, 2013 | App & Software

Computer enthusiasts have much to look forward to this year as there are several new software releases slated for 2013. From an operating system overhaul to a reinvention of a popular network of applications, below is breakdown of the top software updates and releases to look out for this year.

Chrome with Google Now Integration

Though a newcomer to the Web browser market, Google’s Chrome has quickly shot to the top in just four years. In fact, last year the browser became the most popular choice for users worldwide when it supplanted the longtime leader Internet Explorer, according to StatCounter.

As Google continuously works to improve the browser, one new feature users are eagerly anticipating in the next update is the integration of Google Now, a notification system that’s currently featured on the Android OS. Capitalizing on the user data available via Google’s multiple services, from Gmail and Google Docs to Google Maps and Google Flights, Google Now on Chrome will offer a notification system that’s akin to a personal assistant. It will notify users of new emails, schedule updates, the weather for the location of their next appointment and even updated airfare bargains.

Microsoft Office 2013 and Office 365

Earlier this year, Microsoft unveiled the latest update to its popular software package. For Office 2013, all of the programs received an attractive facelift that brings a more modern, minimalist design that looks significantly cleaner than previous versions.

In terms of features, the most noteworthy additions are the new ability to edit PDF files in Word, an improved and simplified method for creating charts in Excel via a tool called Recommended Charts, and basic touchscreen integration. Office 2013 also includes cloud integration with users given the option of saving documents to a SkyDrive account in lieu of their hard drive disk.

Regarding cloud integration, Microsoft is now also offering a whole new way to use its software via Office 365, which is a subscription-based model. For an annual fee of $99.99, users will have access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Access, Publisher and OneNote. They will also have 20GB of cloud storage via SkyDrive, the ability to upgrade anytime a newer version is released, and the option to stream Office applications online through Office.com if using a computer that doesn’t have the software installed.

OS X, Version 10.9

For the past two years, Apple has released annual updates to the Mac operating system. The last version, Mountain Lion, introduced features like iMessage support across the iOS and OS X platforms along with the introduction of Notifications, an iOS feature.

According to the popular tech blog 9to5Mac, beta testing for OS X 10.9 has already begun. One big feature many expect is the inclusion of Siri, Apple’s digital voice assistant. Overall, as Apple continues to develop its ecosystem of devices, users can expect the next iteration of OS X to more closely resemble iOS.

— By Editor

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