Microsoft Office 2016 Coming In 2015

Chris CrumBusiness

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On Wednesday, Microsoft unveiled a whole bunch of Windows 10 stuff. The fun continues on Thursday with the company showing off the next version of Microsoft Office.

The Windows announcement included Office universal apps, which the company said would offer a touch-first experience across phone, tablet, and PC with new versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook. Here's a look at the Word demo:

And PowerPoint:

The Office universal apps are pre-installed for free on phones and tablets running Windows 10, and are available for download from the Windows Store for other devices. These will be part of the Windows 10 Technical Preview in the coming weeks and will be generally available later this year.

Separately, Microsoft is working on the next Office desktop suite called Office 2016, which the company is talking about today. Since it's a work in progress, you can expect more in the coming months.

This particular Office product, Microsoft says, will be the "comprehensive" Office experience you're familiar with, and is best suited for a PC with a keyboard and mouse.

In Word, a new Insights for Office feature (powered by Bing) in Read mode lets you get online resources (images, web references, definitions, etc.).

"Use Excel to create and update spreadsheets and gain new insights as you analyze data and visualize it with charts," says the Office 365 team. "And new touch-first controls shine in Excel, you won’t even miss your keyboard and mouse when selecting ranges of cells, formatting your pie charts or managing your workbooks."

"Create and edit beautiful presentations with PowerPoint," the team adds. "Then use Presenter View to prepare and present with confidence, even use Ink Tools to annotate your slides in real time so your audience really knows what you are talking about."

Microsoft says the new version of OneNote makes it easier to get things done with groups of people with a new consistent Office ribbon experience.

Word is built into the authoring experience in the new Outlook Mail and Outlook Calendar.

Office 2016 should be available in the second half of this year.

Images via Microsoft

Chris Crum

Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.