Earlier this week, Microsoft released their first update to the Microsoft Office suite for almost three years. Already packed with tonnes of features, we thought we’d take a look at the latest updates to understand what has been added.
Focus on the cloud
Customers who purchase Microsoft Office via the cloud will see new features and functionality as and when they’re added. It will also be easier with Office 2016 to access applications via mobile and tablets and share between different devices, meaning customers are less reliant on desktop PCs or laptops.
Tell Me Feature in Microsoft Word
Microsoft has added new functionality to Microsoft Word. One handy addition that you might miss, Tell Me lets you search for a feature or task you’re looking for and it returns the option to you. For example, if you don’t know how to insert a picture, just search for œhow do I insert a picture or similar, to find out how.
Microsoft Word’s real-time co-authoring
The standout addition to Microsoft Word, however is the co-authoring feature in the desktop version of Word. You can now see what others are typing in real-time when multiple people are editing a document stored on one of Microsoft’s cloud services. Previously this has only been available on web versions of Office. This can make a big difference to productivity for some teams. For example, if you can see a colleague amending something they no longer need to edit, you can let them know not to spend time on that task.
With this addition quite rightly comes a new version history side panel in case somebody makes changes that need to be reversed.
You may have noticed recent changes to Microsoft Outlook. Clutter now prioritises your email and clears low priority messages into a separate folder. Microsoft’s Outlook for iOS has a similar Focused Inbox feature. Many aren’t fans of automating email filtering but most agree these new features are working quite well.
Email isn’t the only form of communication in Microsoft Office 2016. If you’re using the apps at work then you’ll likely start using Skype for Business (previously Lync). It’s similar to regular Skype in regards to calling / instant messaging and integrates well with Outlook’s calendar.
One of the new applications to truly grasp Microsoft’s cloud orientated direction is Sway. Essentially, Sway permits anybody to easily make a website from just pictures and content. You can embed a whole host of rich media ranging from videos to tweets. It’s a fascinating mix of Microsoft Word and PowerPoint that can help you create an engaging webpage as the final result. The best part is you can try it out online for free without purchasing Microsoft Office
The Future of Office
Based on Microsoft Office16 we think that large, sparse updates will be a thing of the past for Microsoft. Similar to Microsoft Dynamics releases, Office looks to be moving towards a strategy that sees more incremental improvements.
With that in mind, an Office 365 subscription puts you on a perpetual upgrade path on basically any device you can think of.