Microsoft releases Office 2016, introduces collaboration and cloud-based editing tools
Microsoft is finally introducing real-time co-editing with the recent release of Office 2016.
The new suite of computer apps will focus mainly on collaboration and cloud-based storage and updates. It’s also the biggest update programs such as Word, Powerpoint and Excel have received in three years.
Along with cloud-based co-editing, MIcrosoft also introduced several new apps including Sway, a program to create multimedia stories and presentations.
Now that Office 2016 has cloud-storage and collaboration capabilities it’ll be a strong competitor to other cloud-based document programs such as Google Drive. However, Microsoft said that not all new features will be available right at launch.
Here are some of the new features that may interest you if you’re considering buying the new Office 2016:
With Office 2016 you’ll be able to access your documents from any computer connected to the Internet. When you create an Office 365 account your documents will automatically save and upload to the cloud. This will be great for users who are always on the run. Also, hardly anyone uses flash drives nowadays.
If you’re working on a word document with your co-workers or classmates, you can now all work on it at the same time with real-time typing. You can be in different locations and see what each person is typing as they click on their keyboards. This will be the main feature that will compete with other programs such as Docs on Google Drive.
In-app Skype chat:
Along with the real time editing, users will also be able to Skype from within the program. A side window will pop up and allow users to either use Skype chat or Skype video. It’ll make it easier for users to communicate and collaborate on documents.
Office 2016 will also introduce new apps such as Office 365 Planner, Delve and Sway.
Microsoft’s email also received a number of significant updates. Groups of people will now be able to share inboxes, calendars and notebooks within the app. The email server will also have a new live search feature, a clutter inbox and it’ll send links to cloud documents instead of file attachments.
Cortana and Tell Me:
Office 2016 will also have Cortana support. The intelligent voice assistant will be able to provide contextual results and fetch calendar dates, documents and other search terms. Microsoft also added a new feature called Tell Me that lets users type in phrases like, “How do I use the ruler?” and instead of giving a step-by-step guide, the program will automatically take out the ruler. Tell Me can also be used for almost all settings and tools within the program.
New apps and services (Planner, Delve, Docs and Sway):
Word, PowerPoint and Excel are the most used programs within the Office suite, but Microsoft wants to introduce new tools that it hopes users will utilize just as much. The first new app is called Planner, which lets users track tasks and projects. The app has a visual dashboard that displays email notifications, document progress and any changes made by team members.
Delve, another new app in Office 2016, will also help team members keep up with everyone’s progress. Delve will let users see what others are doing and what documents they are working on. This program can also be a great addition to the classroom and let teachers keep a close eye on their students' progress.
The two other services that will be introduced with the suite include Sway and Docs.com. With Sway users will be able to put together unique story-like presentations. Microsoft said it’s like having a designer in a box. Users will be able to upload their photos and text and the program will put it together. Docs.com will let anyone publish their documents online for free and share them with the world. It’ll be a space for people looking for experts on particular subjects and work they find interesting.
Office 2016 will focus mainly on collaboration tools and cloud-based storage.
Users with Office 365 subscriptions will get the new suite for free and will receive monthly updates for all apps. Some of those updates include new Excel chart types, collaboration tools and possibly enhanced Cortana support.
Office 2016 will also be available in buy-it-once versions. The basic Windows and Mac version will cost $149 and the business version will cost $229. The Office 365 version will require a subscription, which starts at $7 per month.