Microsoft to release Office 2016 later this year

Even as Microsoft pushes Office 365, it will keep the classic product the same.

Microsoft signage
Marcin Wichary (CC BY 2.0)

One day after the big reveal for Windows 10, Microsoft has announced it will update its flagship desktop office productivity suite later this year.

The news came, as it so often does, in a blog post. Office Product Management Team General Manager Julia White officially announced Office 2016 on Thursday, stating that the company knew the most pressing concern many users have – keeping Office keyboard- and mouse-friendly.

"We will have more to share on Office 2016 in the coming months, but this suite will remain the comprehensive Office experience you’re long familiar with, best suited for a PC with keyboard and mouse," she wrote.

She went over some of the new features in the app suite, but nothing in depth. Word for Windows 10 would feature real-time collaboration and a new feature, Insights for Office (powered by Bing), to access online resources like images, Web references, and definitions.

Excel will come with new data analysis and visualization charts and new touch-first controls for tablets and phones for things like selecting ranges of cells, formatting your pie charts, or managing your workbooks.

There really wasn't much for PowerPoint, other than mention of Presenter View to prepare and present your slideshow and Ink Tools to annotate your slides in real time so your audience really knows what you are talking about. That sounds helpful, since as it stands, PowerPoint would require you to go into edit mode to change a slide, and that would look awful during a presentation.

Finally, the new version of OneNote promises collaboration and sharing and uses the Office ribbon experience. Outlook Mail will integrate Word, so you can dress up emails with tables and other formatted content.

There still is no word on if there will be a public beta or when, but Microsoft did publish a YouTube video showing Office for Windows 10.

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.
Must read: 10 new UI features coming to Windows 10