Microsoft has this morning began the worldwide release of Office 2016, which heads to New Zealand alongside new and enhanced Office 365 services.
“The way people work has changed dramatically, and that’s why Microsoft is focused on reinventing productivity and business processes for the mobile-first, cloud-first world,” says Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft.
“These latest innovations take another big step forward in transforming Office from a familiar set of individual productivity apps to a connected set of apps and services designed for modern working, collaboration and teamwork.”
Following months of anticipation, Redmond says Office 2016 delivers new versions of the Office desktop apps for Windows, including Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, OneNote, Project, Visio and Access.
By subscribing to Office 365, customers can get always-up-to-date, fully installed apps for use across their devices, combined with a continually evolving set of consumer and commercial services, such as OneDrive online storage, Skype for Business, Delve, Yammer and enterprise-grade security features.
Maria Martinez Torres, Director for the Office and Office 365 Business Group at Microsoft New Zealand, believes the new Office offers kiwi businesses new ways to collaborate and work smarter.
“The new Office will enable new and exciting ways for kiwis to work together, and was designed with the clear understanding that people currently find working together harder than it should be,” she says.
“By helping New Zealanders to share their ideas and collaborate more easily - for example, by being able to IM, screen share, talk or video chat right from their documents - the new Office empowers people and their teams to do and achieve more.”
Torres says the new Office 365 apps are designed for collaboration, citing new releases of Co-Authoring, Skype in-app integration and Outlook Group apps as examples.
In addition, new Office 365 solutions include Office 365 Planner - designed to help teams organise their work, with the ability to create new plans, organise and assign tasks, set due dates, and update status with visual dashboards and email notifications.
Microsoft says Planner will be available in preview to Office 365 First Release customers starting next quarter.
Furthermore, the tech giant claims that “significant new updates” to OneDrive for Business are coming later this month, including a new sync client for Windows and Mac, which will deliver selective sync and enhanced reliability.
Updates also include increased file size and volume limits per user, a new user interface in the browser, mobile enhancements, and new IT and developer features.
Unveiled earlier this year, Gigjam is now available in private preview and will become part of Office 365 in 2016.
Availability and requirements
The new Office 2016 apps are available in 40 languages and require Windows 7 or later and from now, Office 365 subscribers can choose to download the new Office 2016 apps as part of their subscription.
Microsoft says automatic updates will begin rolling out to consumer and small-business subscribers next month, and to commercial customers early next year - Office 2016 is also available today as a one-time purchase for both PCs and Macs.