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Microsoft Releases Public Preview Version Of Office 2016

Jared Spataro, general manager for the Office marketing team, updated the Office blog with news that consumers can now check out a public preview of Office 2016. The new Office release includes real-time co-authoring in Word, smart applications that "learn" as you work, new data analysis capabilities, new deployment and security features, and more.

Spataro said in Monday's blog that Microsoft is now looking for feedback from a wider audience after having released the IT Pro and Developer Preview back in March. This method is similar to how Microsoft is handling the Insider Preview of Windows 10, by providing a tool that will help Microsoft shape the product based on consumer feedback.

"Office 2016 previewers will get an early look at the next release of Office on Windows desktop, but more importantly they'll help to shape and improve the future of Office," he said.

There are actually two versions for consumption: Office 2016 Preview for the home and Office 2016 Preview for enterprise. For Office 365 subscribers wanting the home version, simply go to the My Account page, click "Language and Install options," click "Additional install instructions," and then choose the 32-bit or 64-bit Office 2016 Preview in the drop-down menu. Office 365 customers will remain on the Office 2016 Preview release schedule until (1) Office 2016 is released to retail or (2) Office 2016 Preview is uninstalled.

If you don't have an Office 365 subscription, you can still download the beta by using the product key located here and downloading either the 64-bit or 32-bit version. Naturally, customers can't keep using this version forever. They will have an option to purchase an Office 365 subscription or to reinstall the original Office retail version using the original product key.

For businesses, Office 365 administrators with an Office 365 ProPlus subscription can now download the preview by turning on "First Release." These customers can sign in to the My Software page, click "Try the next version of Office" and click "Install." For those not willing to join First Release, you can obtain the Office 365 Preview by heading here.

One of the neater features provided in the new Office 2016 Preview is real-time collaboration. Customers using the desktop and online versions of Word will be able to see what the other is writing in real time when editing the same document. There's also an updated Clutter folder in Outlook that, according to Microsoft, uses machine learning to figure out what emails are important to the user and what is considered clutter.

On the business side of things, the new Office provides one-click forecasting, an easy way to publish and share Excel workbooks to Power BI users, improved Power Pivot features in Excel, an integrated Power Query and more. For IT, Data Loss Protection is now available in PowerPoint, Excel and Word. Microsoft has also added multi-factor authentication in Outlook.

As Spataro pointed out, Office 2016 Preview is a "work in progress," so keep in mind that the suite may not run as smoothly as the final retail version. Plus, there are a number of features that are not included in this release, but new features will be added each month. Spataro will provide more information about each build as they are released.

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  • Martell1977
    Still rockin" Office 2003, lol. I will check this out but if the Student/Home Office version still doesn't include Outlook, I'll be sticking with 2003. I can't stand webmail and Outlook keeps things clean, easy and efficient. I don't understand why MS thinks only business wants a nice email client and the rest of us should be stuck on webmail unless we pay corporate prices or on a subscription.

    Just like I wish I could have for TV, let me buy what I use and you can keep the rest. I just want Word, Excel, and Outlook...maybe Powerpoint. You can keep Onenote, Access, Publisher.
    Reply
  • uglyduckling81
    So this new one isn't a subscription based product?
    Reply
  • Cryio
    Still rockin" Office 2003, lol.

    Then you are using the uglier, more complicated, slower, the one which breaks design and compatibility, the buggier on newer operating systems and the one which no longer receives support, so you are free to hacks and whatnot.

    It was released over a decade ago. Don't you think you should move on? Even Office 2007 was released 9 years ago .. sheesh.
    Reply
  • Cryio
    So this new one isn't a subscription based product?

    The preview one isn't. When it launches, people using Office 365 will upgrade naturally. I still think Microsoft will provide Office 2016 as a stand alone though.
    Reply
  • cupholder
    H&S will never include Outlook again, and you may wanna get with the times because you're severely outdated. Hell, even Windows Live Mail likely has more functionality than Outlook 2003.
    Reply
  • littleleo
    Office 2010 was a decent version were as office 2013 is like Windows 8.x, wildly unpopular. I gave a good friend of mine a copy of office 2013 pro, and after a few months he said he hated it. He's been using excel since it was 1st released so he has experienced about every version MS has release. He won't use it and is using a free office suite he like much better. It seems MS last office was not well received my sales of office drop dramatically. Since MS has decided to sell directly to endusers I have no idea how their overall office sales are faring. I don't like their 3 year cycle it seems to fast when popular versions are current and too slow when turkeys like Windows 8.x, and Office 2013 are current.
    Reply
  • Martell1977
    15801529 said:
    Still rockin" Office 2003, lol.

    Then you are using the uglier, more complicated, slower, the one which breaks design and compatibility, the buggier on newer operating systems and the one which no longer receives support, so you are free to hacks and whatnot.

    It was released over a decade ago. Don't you think you should move on? Even Office 2007 was released 9 years ago .. sheesh.

    For my purposes Outlook 2003 is clean and efficient. Yes it's old, but that doesn't mean bad. On Windows 7 it has been 100% stable and from time to time, but rarely anymore, MS will drop out an update for it. I don't need ribbon bars all over the place. I will upgrade when I need to, I don't upgrade just so i can say I have the latest.

    I check out the new versions when they come out and if I don't see an advantage to upgrading, I'm fine staying with what I have. Which is why I'm leery of changing from Windows 7 to 10, I want to know if MS is going to make it subscription based before I jump to it.

    Reply
  • JOSHSKORN
    Then you are using the uglier, more complicated, slower, the one which breaks design and compatibility, the buggier on newer operating systems and the one which no longer receives support, so you are free to hacks and whatnot.

    It was released over a decade ago. Don't you think you should move on? Even Office 2007 was released 9 years ago .. sheesh.

    Office 2007 was ugly. 2010 was a little better, but damn I still miss Office 2003. I haven't even seen Office 2013, not sure if I'd want to or not. At least in 2003, I could find everything.
    Reply
  • marraco
    I'm downloading it to test on windows 10 preview, but I do not have much hopes for it, since all the Office versions since 2007 were worse and worse.

    It looks like Microsoft keeps cutting functionality and features with each version of office.

    For example, Solver in Excel 2013 is just garbage compared with Excel 2007 Solver.
    Reply
  • joex444
    At this point what does Word/Excel from Office 2003 do that OpenOffice, LibreOffice, or Google Docs doesn't do?

    Outlook only makes sense in context with an Outlook Exchange Server, which almost always implies a corporate account. Outside of that, webmail or Thunderbird are sane alternatives.

    Can't comment on open source PowerPoint alternatives. If I need to make slides, I use Beamer and LaTeX which I admit is a niche situation.
    Reply