Microsoft announced Microsoft Office 2013 Consumer Preview earlier this week. We generally do not see many changes from one version of Office to another, but this one is different. Office 2013 is a huge step forward for Office and Microsoft itself.
Office 2013 has been revamped across the board with Metro UI. Windows Aero has been replaced with chromeless look that we've seen on Windows 8 and Windows Phone 7. Many menu texts and buttons have been enlarged to improved the tablet experience and usability, though I would not call Office 2013 'tablet optimized' just yet. The ribbon is still there, but icons inside it are larger and spaced farther apart.
Web and sharing are big aspects of Office 2013. You must log on to a Windows Live account to use Office 2013, and the option to save or share via SkyDrive is front and center. There is a collaboration support through Office 365 or other extensions as well. Blogging is built-in to Word 2013, though it only supports Microsoft's own blogging platform right now. I would love to see Wordpress or Squarespace extensions in the future. Word 2013 supports HTML, so it is incredibly easy to embed HTML code for videos in your word docs.
In addition to big changes, there are small enhancements like smooth scrolling and improved physics for the text selection cursor. Microsoft paid a lot of attention to detail in Office 2013.
Overall, Office 2013 represents a good step forward for Microsoft. Cloud integration and collaboration features are big leaps that keep Microsoft Office competitive with Dropbox, Google Docs, and other web services. I would have liked to see more UI improvements for the tablet experience, but Microsoft may be planning to release Metro style Office apps for tablets in the future. With Office 2013, Microsoft Office will continue to be the premier productivity suite for most people.