Office 2016 apps for Windows are now available, here’s what’s new

Office 2016 apps for Windows launches worldwide today, September 22, 2015. After a number of private and public previews, Microsoft is ready to roll out the most popular office apps to everyone. Office 2016 is available in 40 languages for PCs running Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7.

The new version of the suite includes the 2016 version of Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, OneNote, Access, Visio, Project, Publisher, and Skype for Business, but we’re not expecting the suite to offer a major overhaul.

Office 2016 remains very much identical to the Office 2013 version, but the suite includes a new colorful theme, which is similar to the mobile version of Office for Windows 10, and to the design the company brought to Mac, iOS, and Android apps. The suite also includes a new dark theme for those customers who are using the Windows 10 dark theme and aren’t very excited about the color design on the new apps.

What’s new in Office 2016

Although, this is a new milestone for Microsoft, the new suite of office apps is not introducing a big number of features, but the apps have been updated with many improvements, performance and security enhancements, and subscription changes.

The new version Office “focus on collaboration” and the software giant moves the suite to the servicing model, we’re seeing today in Windows 10, “where subscribers can expect to get more frequent updates with new features and improvements” as they become available.

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Perhaps, one of the most important changes is collaboration. Office 2016 delivers real-time co-authoring, which was already available for the web apps, but now the same feature come to the desktop apps.

Communication between people collaborating in a project is very important, as such Skype for Business is now built-in the apps. You can now IM, screen share, talk or video change without leaving the document.

Users on Office 365 subscriptions will get extra features out of the plan, including Sway and:

  • Office 2016 Groups is also available in the new suite of desktop apps, and there is a new Outlook Groups apps for Windows Phone, Android, and iOS.
  • Office 365 Planner is another app that helps teams to organize their work. You can create plans, organize, and assign tasks, update status, and set due dates through an easy to use interface.

Office 2016 apps highlights

Excel 2016 includes Power BI functionality and new modern chart-types to help you get more use of the data. Outlook 2016 has a new “smarter inbox” with very fast search, it remove low priority mail automatically, and it also help you to see the right access for file attachments you’re sharing.

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Microsoft is also making improvements to syncing, but it’s not available today. However, changes on OneDrive for Business include, better syncing, web browser, mobile, IT control and developer experiences. The new generation sync client will be available later this month for Windows and Ma with improved reliability, selective sync, and you’ll be able to sync more and larger size documents.

Tell Me will now be integrated into the desktop apps to help you find features and command. Smart Lookup will assists you to bring web content to your documents

Further improvements

In addition, Microsoft is making Office 2016 the perfect companion for Windows 10. The new version of Office includes support for Windows Hello, which allows to sign-in not only to Windows 10, but also to Office 365 without the need of remembering or typing a password.

“In the coming months”, the software giant will integrate Office 365 into Cortana “through Outlook 2016 support”. Continuum in Windows 10 Mobile and Office Mobile app will allow you to use your Windows handset to act a PC by projecting documents onto the big screen work as you would on a traditional computer.

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For the enterprise, Microsoft is building Data Loss Protection (DLP), multifactor authentication, and later this year the company will be bringing Enterprise Data Protection (EDP) in Windows 10 with support for Office Mobile. In addition, deployment of Office 2016 on enterprise will be much simpler.

Microsoft released Office 2016 for Mac back in July for Office 365 customers, but today the suite of apps is also available as a “one-time purchase”.

According Microsoft watcher, Mary Jo Foley, MSDN subscribers will be able to download Office 2016 for Windows and Mac on today, September 22, at 9 AM PT / 12 PM ET.

Before you buy Office 2016, here’re the reasons why you should upgrade by Microsoft:

Office 2016 one-time purchase pricing

If you’re not planning to get a subscription, you can still buy Office 2016 as an standalone package:

  • Office Home & Student $149
  • Office Home and Business $229
  • Office Professional $399

The licensing allows you to install Office on a Windows PC or Mac.

For more pricing information visit Office for Home and Office for Business.

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