Today’s release of Office 2016 marks almost three years since the last major version of Microsoft’s productivity apps. Microsoft has released Office 2016 worldwide, as it promised.
This brings new features such as real-time typing, easy sharing, new Excel charts, Skype for Business, modern attachments in Outlook and more. It also has several enterprise features such as built-in Data Loss Prevention (DLP), Multifactor Authentication and more. Let’s find out.
Office is no longer restricted to your desktop PC or laptop, it’s everywhere. I can create an Office document from my PC and then edit on my phone or tablet, and not have to worry about moving the file manually onto those devices. Never before has this been so seamless, and Office 2016 embraces the cloud fully. We pretty much know where is this continuity coming from! *Apple*
Excel only has one notable change: six new chart types. There are a few visual changes and tweaks and a new gray theme that matches the dark look of Windows 10 very well. Other than that, all the features of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint are in largely the same place as they’ve always been.
But there are new features to be found, and the best of them happen to be in Office’s most popular app, Word. If you’re creating a résumé or an angry letter of complaint, then it’s the tool of choice. Microsoft has made Word a little more intelligent this time around, with some new features that are helpful, rather than flashy additions you never use again.
But the biggest addition in Word is real-time co-authoring. For the first time in a desktop version of Word, you can now see what others are typing in real time when multiple people are editing a document stored on one of Microsoft’s cloud services. This has been previously reserved only for web versions of Office, and used widely on Google Docs. It makes a big difference being able to see what a co-worker is changing in a document, with the ability to quickly message them on Skype to advise them not to make a particular change before they’ve wasted time doing it.
Tell Me lets you simply search for the feature or task you’re looking for and it brings the option up. If you’re struggling to find how to insert a chart, just search for “how do I insert a chart” or something equally relevant, and the option is immediately revealed.
Alongside the big real-time editing addition, Office 2016 also includes a new version history side panel. If you’ve ever been working on a document that multiple people edit then you’ve probably come across the situation where someone totally screws up everyone’s hard work. Version history is now easy to access, and you can quickly restore an old version in seconds.
Welcome Microsoft Sway
One of the new apps to really embrace the idea of sharing and cloud-powered documents is Sway. It’s a new addition to the Office lineup, and it’s the most impressive change to this latest version of Office. In its most basic form, Sway allows anyone to create a beautiful website from just images and text without any effort.
It’s all web-based too, so you don’t actually need an application to access Sway. You can insert pictures, videos, tweets, and charts so there are plenty of options. It’s an interesting blend of Word and PowerPoint that creates an interactive web page as the end result. You don’t even need Office to try it out – it’s all available online, free of charge.
Create forecasting with one click
It is now easier than ever to create a forecast charts based on historical data. Just select the cells, and Excel now offers one-click option to predict the future trends. The company mentions that it utilises industry standard Exponential Smoothing (ETS) algorithm to offer accurate data. You can find the one-click forecasting option called Forecast Sheet under the Data tab.
Better integration with OneDrive and Skype
OneDrive integration enables you to open an Office document from anywhere and from any supported device. Not only can you access these files, you can in fact pick up right from where have you left on another device.
Skype, as you can imagine, allows you to talk to your colleagues, initiate and join online meetings and share your screen with your colleagues.
Microsoft is also introducing a feature called Planner that allows a team to make projects and quickly make tasks and documents. It utilises Office Graph, a feature that keeps a record of every document, email-related actions, and other activity log of a user. Planner is arguably very efficient and useful.
Pricing and Availability
In addition to Office 365 option that starts at Rs. 330 per month, Microsoft Office 2016 is also available as a one-time purchase for Windows PCs or Macs. Office Home & Student 2016 costs Rs. 5,999, Office Home and Business 2016 costs Rs. 18,499 and the Office Professional 2016 is priced at Rs. 30,999 in India.