Office 2016 was released yesterday, September 22, 2015. This is the first time I’ve had the opportunity to grab it and review it as soon as it’s been released. Normally, I’d wait a month or two to really give it a go on my production machine, but alas it is installed and ready to go. The first thing I noticed, is that it looks ALOT like Office 2013, the look and feel is ever so slightly different but it became obvious that Microsoft isn’t going for aesthetic differences in this release…The changes they are making are in function, collaboration and storage, and that became obvious once I moved on from Outlook and started looking at Word.
As soon as I opened up Microsoft Word 2016, I noticed one thing right away. Word automatically associated to my logged in Hotmail account. Word 2013, also had the option but it didn’t do it automatically. Microsoft is trying to make your productivity experience across all devices as accessible as possible. By using OneDrive and storing documents there, you will essentially be able to access and edit across all of your devices regardless of having Office 2016 installed say on your tablet. Remember if you have an Outlook account, you have access to Word Online for free, AWESOME. The days are gone where you need to copy your file to USB and bring it from device to device…unless of course you still want to do that. I don’t.
Another cool feature that stood out is the Tell Me bar. Where you basically type what you are trying to do like “collaborate” and the menu is delivered right to the bar instead of bringing you to a list of help instructions…very cool. This bar is found across the entire product line.
One of the other major features that Microsoft is touting is the ability to share and co-edit documents such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint. To do this they have to be saved to a cloud location such as OneDrive. This feature will change the way documents are created and edited.
Office Pro Plus comes with
- Outlook 2016
- Word 2016
- Excel 2016
- PowerPoint 2016
- OneNote 2016
- Skype for Business Client
- Publisher 2016
This is the first time that the MAC version of Microsoft Office has been a) been at the same exact version as the Windows counterpart and b) released at the same time.
One thing to note on future planning, this may be the last major release of Office and Server products to come. Microsoft has announced that they are looking at delivering version updates through iterations via Microsoft Updates. So in another way, this version maybe the end of an era and the beginning of a new one in how Microsoft software is versioned. I wonder if the same excitement will carry through.