A new and improved version of Microsoft Office is here and already it can be argued that a new dawn is upon on us. It cannot be denied that every version of the Office does something new, takes away things we loved and provides additions we are not sure we are going to love. But, that is just how the world of upgrades and updates goes and many Average Joes are never sure what their new Word will look like. As a part of the insider program, I have been following the development of the new Office, but, since it officially came out on September 22, it is time to share a few words about it.

The Facts

First of all, this is the first major version of Office since January 2013 and it seems that people were a bit too anxious to welcome a new one. Office 2013 still is aesthetically appealing and does a really good job in almost all areas it covers, but it has been criticized a lot and getting some unwanted attention for its flaws. They were more or less easy to fix, nonetheless, but still created tension.
With this new version, Microsoft is looking towards improving some of the problems and adding a couple of new features users did not even know they wanted. From functionality and fast access to simplicity and connectivity, it is all here.

Excel 2016

The Point

Every new Office Suite has something special about it, whether it is the looks, the mobility, the fast response or something else. The 2013 version was all about the cloud and storing your documents in an invisible area around us for our own good and safety, while this one kicks this up a notch. Namely, people from Microsoft realized that more and more people use their mobile devices and that a good idea would be to make the new Office available for all existing platforms.
That is why they not only offered Office 365 to everyone, but also made the 2016 version completely mobile. You can create, view, edit and save documents across all devices and design a spreadsheet on your PC in the morning, edit it on your smartphone while commuting to work and show it to your boss on your tablet – and in just a few clicks.

The Biggest Changes

When you really get into Office 2016, you will notice that the visual changes are minimal – yes, Excel has new types of charts, Outlook is slightly different, a new theme that follows the looks of Windows 10 is there as well, but that is pretty much it. Staying faithful to the tradition is actually a great choice now, particularly for users who prefer simplicity.

Word 2016
When it comes to features, there are quite a few changes. The new Word, for example, includes helpful tips and tools for specific types of documents and a real-time co-authoring that looks similar to what you have on Google Docs. On the other hand, Outlook has made attaching, viewing and searching for files much, much easier. And then, there is Sway, a new app you will love – it is a web-based lovechild of Word and PowerPoint that allows you to create presentations and websites in a matter of minutes and with almost no knowledge of coding. Ultimately, one of the biggest issues for some users – data loss – has now been given more attention and a feature that prevents it is also included.

The Outcome

Overall, Office 2016 is quicker, more appealing and versatile than the previous versions. While some programs have not changed significantly, others have made a visible progress. There are some flaws, but the overall impression is quite positive.

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Posted by Marcus Jensen

Marcus is an Australian IT support professional. He's running his own business, working with companies that outsource their IT maintenance. In his free time he enjoys SciFi books and movies.

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