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What to Expect in Office 2016 for Windows

Posted: Aug 4, 2015
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What to Expect in Office 2016 for Windows

Office 2016 will launch in autumn 2015, and in Microsoft’s words, “This time around, we have re-imagined the traditional Office experience for a mobile-first, cloud-first world.”

Since the release of the Office 2016 Preview earlier this year, more than one million customers have used it across both Windows and Mac platforms.

Microsoft said that, initially, Office for Windows will be limited to four apps, the ones they believe to be most essential: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. However, Redmond’s Richard Ellis, Director for Office in the UK, recently said, “When the need for other apps is known to us by consumers, we will listen and make plans to develop further apps for Office for Windows.”

It’s also worth noting that InfoPath (the electronic form designing and filling software) will be dropped when the next version of Office emerges, though Microsoft says it will continue support for InfoPath Forms Services through 2016.

Below are key improvements to three of the most popular Office 2016 Applications:

Excel 2016
Improved business intelligence tools now grace Excel 2016, with Power Query being built-in rather than an add-on, and Power View now working with data from OLAP cubes. Working with the slicers that let you swiftly filter tables and Pivot Tables using a touchscreen is also easier in Excel.

For power users who carry out complex calculations in Excel, the good news is that Microsoft has integrated various add-ons right into the program’s user interface to improve its business intelligence functionality. This will give you the ability to work with even more data sources, and analyze this data faster. There are also a variety of new graphs and charts to choose from.

Outlook 2016 
Streamlining your inbox is something even the most efficient and productive of us struggle with. Microsoft is aiming to make Outlook the program of choice for you to get as close as you can to “inbox zero” by introducing functionality called Clutter. This new feature scans your inbox and moves what it deems to be the less important emails to a new folder (called Clutter). As it’s an intelligent service, it learns from the actions you take when organizing emails.

Additionally, when you click to add an attachment to an email, a list of recently worked on files pops up, which is pretty handy, as the file you want to attach is likely to be one you’ve just finished working with (and this doesn’t just cover local files, but also those on OneDrive).

Word 2016
Collaboration is key and being able to see what your colleagues are working on while you are editing a document is important. While this is a feature already offered in Google Docs, Microsoft is bringing real-time document editing to Office 2016 for Windows, meaning you will see names pop up in little boxes when your coworkers are editing a particular area.

Word also features Insights, which is currently available in Word Online, and lets you highlight a word, term or sentence and then learn more about that topic in an Insights pane on the right side of the app.

Note that there is also an Office 2016 IT Pro and Developer preview that offers a number of enhancements compared to the plain Office 2016, which includes:


Data Loss Protection (DLP)

Tweaks to Outlook (like MAPI-HTTP, Foreground network calls, lean storage footprint, etc.)

Click-to-run deployment

Macros and Add-ins

Information Rights Management



Want to Learn More About Office 2016? Attend Our Free Webinar!

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