In Microsoft’s own words, this time around, the company has re-imagined the traditional Office experience for a mobile-first, cloud-first world – one where a client-centrical Office 2016 is expected to play an increasingly lesser role compared to Office 365 and Office 2013.
Since the launch of Office 2016 (the one at the time of publishing is 16.0.4027.1008) on Windows Preview earlier this year, more than one million customers have used it across both Windows and Mac platforms according to Microsoft and that has been followed by a number of updates including:
Real Time Presence in word
Simplified file sharing
Insights (powered by Bing) in Office
Version History improvements
Improved grammar checker
Improved Power Pivot improvements
Note that you need to be an Office 365 customer in order to try Office 2016 and you won’t be able to run both (2016 and 2013) concurrently unfortunately. We previously heard from Julia White, the general manager for Microsoft Office, that Office 2016 (which is coincidentally the 16th iteration of the suite) will be launched in the second half of 2015, and in a recent blog post Redmond mentioned that the suite will be out in the autumn.
Windows 10 has and continues to grab a huge deal of attention, generating a growing media interest as we near the launch date (29/7), particularly since this is a vital operating system to get right for Redmond given the (relative) failure of Windows 8 (and RT) and the timid reception for Windows 8.1. However, let’s not forget that Microsoft has another major cash cow, Office, which has been gradually transformed from a Windows-centrical productivity suite of five core products into a vibrant ecosystem of applications, many of them web-based (welcome to the world of SaaS). In Microsoft’s own words, this time around, the company has re-imagined the traditional Office experience for a mobile-first, cloud-first world – one where a client-centrical Office 2016 is expected to play an increasingly lesser role compared to Office 365 and Office 2013.
Microsoft has said that Office for Windows will be limited to four apps (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, One-Note), because those are the most essential apps which the company wanted to prioritize, and maximize the quality of. Redmond’s Richard Ellis, director for Office in the UK, recently told us:
“When the need for other apps is known to us by consumers, we will listen and make plans to develop further apps for Office for Windows.”