Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer made an off-handed remark in calling Office 2013 "magical," a comment often cited of Apple products. But this time around it seems Microsoft got some stuff right, according to testers.

Microsoft's latest version of Office pushes customers toward using cloud-based services that makes the suite of applications available on any device -- PC, tablet or phone -- and has a user interface tuned to work with the touch-centric Windows 8 operating system.

The combination of the new Office with Windows 8 and Microsoft's SkyDrive cloud storage make an environment that is more productive than the traditional Office, says Ballmer. "Together I think they're quite magical," he says.