Microsoft Office 2016 is still in the works, but some users are testing it out with Office 2016 Preview, which started in May. Numerous updates have been added in the last two months, but Microsoft wanted to create an overall recap of the biggest improvements from June.
Excel received an additional six charts to its roster called Waterfall, Histogram, Pareto, Box & Whisker, Treemap and Sunburst, which could be a godsend for those who want to use the program to input large amounts of data numerous times without the same boring layout. There's also the introduction of Insights in both Excel and PowerPoint; the feature, first implemented in Word and Outlook, provides a quick reference guide, via Bing, to various terms in your presentation or report. Think of it as a little notecard that can help the presenter with more information.
For Word, users can now see real-time typing on every document, if it's shared with other users. You can test it out by putting the document file in OneDrive for Business and sharing it. The feature isn't new for those who have used Google Docs and other online word processing tools, but it could certainly prove useful for those who prefer using Microsoft Office.
If you're having trouble finding various commands on Word, Excel, PowerPoint or Outlook, there's a simple bar at the top of each app called Tell Me. By typing in your desired command, it will list a few results that match your command description. There's also Insert Equation, another interesting function in Word, Excel and PowerPoint, that allows you to write equations with a stylus, mouse or your finger, and it will automatically transfer to the document as a typed formula. Math and science users will get the most out of this implementation, which should shave off a few minutes from creating tests or writing long research papers.
We're only two months into the Preview stages, so there's bound to be even more improvements to the new Office. While it won't be ready by the time Windows 10 launches in a few weeks (a release date is set for the second half of 2015), there's no doubt that it plays an integral part in the operating system, specifically with Universal Apps. The new features are no longer exclusive to the desktop version of Office, so we'll be curious to see how new charts and inserting hand-written equations will work on your Windows mobile device or tablet.