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Weekend Roundup: Microsoft unveils Office 2013, while Yahoo and VMware announce new CEOs

Office 2013 breaks cover

It seems that the Microsoft bandwagon is set to keep rolling well into the foreseeable future. Not a week goes by without some kind of announcement from the Software giant, and this week was no exception.

On Monday Microsoft chose to unveil the next version of its Office suite – Office 2013, or Office 15, depending on which way you look at it. While the current version, Office 2010, was something of an evolution of Office 2007, the forthcoming Office 2013 is going to represent a major departure.

Besides a new look and feel, the big news with Office 2013 is its focus on the cloud and the benefits therein. So, while Microsoft has been keen to extol the virtues of cloud productivity with its subscription based Office 365 offering, with Office 2013, the cloud will be an integral feature.

As if the Office 2013 announcement wasn’t enough, a host of confirmed release dates also swept forth from Microsoft for Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 and Windows Server 2012, to name but a few.

Yahoo grabs Google girl

Yahoo announced a new CEO this week, in the shape of Google poster girl, Marissa Mayer. Although Mayer’s appointment came as something of a surprise, the general consensus has been pretty positive.

Mayer has been one of the most prominent faces of Google for some time, and many would argue that it’s the fact that her face is more attractive than many in the world of tech that she found herself on the frontline so often. That said, she’s an undoubtedly smart woman, and Yahoo could definitely do with a high profile face to get it back in the limelight.

Whatever the reasons for bringing Mayer into the Yahoo fold, she’s going to have a tough job ahead of her, but one would hope that all those years at Google will help her turn around Yahoo’s fortunes.

Ex-Intel genius heads up VMware

I can still remember attending IDF the year that Pat Gelsinger left the company - it was surreal, to say the least. If you’ve been in the tech game for as long as I have, you’d have probably put money on the fact that Gelsinger would remain at Intel until they carried him out in a box.

The word genius is bandied about all too often in the world of technology, but in Gelsinger’s case it simply doesn’t do him justice. This is a man who was responsible for so many aspects of today’s processor design, and who’s work makes our jobs so much easier and more productive every day.

Pat may not have the obsessive following of Jobs, Gates, or even Intel’s own Gordon Moore, but his contributions to technology are arguably just as great.

Now Gelsinger has been made CEO of VMware, a company that travelled down a parallel path to Intel as both companies championed the cause of virtualisation. Of course it’s not like Gelsinger wasn’t close to VMware, since he was already COO of EMC Information Infrastructure Products, the parent company of VMware.

Although many had speculated that Gelsinger would take on the CEO role at EMC itself, he has always been about the technology and driving innovation forward, so a more hands-on role at VMware isn’t that big a surprise. One thing’s for sure though, if anyone can take VMware to newer, greater heights, it’s Pat Gelsinger.

Riyad has been entrenched in technology publishing for more years than he cares to remember, having staffed and edited some of the largest and most successful IT magazines in the UK. In 2003 he joined forces with Hugh Chappell to create They built TR into the UK’s market leading technology publication before selling the title to IPC Media / Time Warner in 2007. As Editorial Director at Net Communities, Riyad will be helping to develop the publishing portfolio, making IT Pro Portal the best publication it can be.