Microsoft Office 2016 Reviewed
Microsoft recently released its Office 2016 productivity suite. Office 2016 brings a new visual design to fit in with Windows 10, while incorporating some interesting additions.
Visually it has had a facelift to bring it more into line with the Universal app platform that Microsoft has adopted in Windows 10. Each app is more colourful than before, with the ribbon and header now baring blue for Word, green for Excel, and so on. There’s a simpler, clutter free design, which will lend itself well to tablets, smartphones, and touchscreen devices, alongside traditional Windows machines.
Microsoft has focussed mainly small refinements, rather than loads of new features but there are a few interesting new additions to Office this time around.
The Tell Me search bar that has appeared on the web app version of Office for a while now, makes its way to the desktop in Office 2016.
Insights is another useful feature in Word and Outlook, which can display additional, contextual information about any words or terms in your text. Simply highlight the word, right click, select Smart Lookup, and you’ll see articles, definitions, or other data pertaining to the subject. Search results are powered by Bing and link into Wikipedia among other sources
There are also various improvements to sharing files through Outlook and other apps, the way version histories of documents are handled, and data security.
Perhaps the biggest addition to Office 2016 is Real Time Presence. This is the ability to work on a document simultaneously with colleagues and see, in real time, edits or additions that each of you is making. Google Docs has had this feature for a long time now, with some people using the platform specifically for this function, so its inclusion in Microsoft Word is good news.
Excel finally gets new chart types, and the data analysis tools like maps are built in, and available in all versions, instead of being expensive and complicated extras.
Microsoft’s commitment to adding more features regularly underlines that fact that the best way for many people to get Office is as a subscription service rather than software you pay for once (although that option is still there).
There are still multiple ways to get Office. The Office 365 subscriptions for businesses include the Exchange, SharePoint, OneDrive for Business and Skype for Business services as well as the Office software.
Office 365 Business includes the Windows or Mac versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, and Publisher, and each person can put them on up to five PCs or Macs. Office 365 ProPlus adds Access. As usual, Visio and Project get new versions at the same time as Office but you have to buy them separately.