Office 2016 for Mac is Now Aligned with Windows, Android, and iOS

Posted on January 18, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in iOS, Office with 25 Comments

Office 2016 for Mac is Now Aligned with Windows, Android, and iOS

Microsoft today announced a major new release of Office 2016 for Mac that aligns this product with the versions on Windows, Android, and iOS.

“Mac Office 2016 version 16 is now live! For the first time in over 20 years, Office is again built out of one codebase for all platforms (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android)!” Microsoft principle software engineer Erik Schwiebert tweeted today. “Massive code alignment under the hood, bringing new user features such as real-time collaboration in Word and PPT, more formulas and multithreaded recalc in Excel, etc!”

So, I’m a bit confused by what he means by “one codebase,” since there is no way these products are built in their entity using the same code. And I also know that Microsoft trying to base Mac Office on Windows Office was a major boondoggle in the late 1990’s/2000’s, so it’s interesting that things have evolved to the point where this is both viable and desirable today.

(When I asked Schwiebert about this on Twitter, he recommended watching this video, which I’m doing now. But he noted that “the shared code is all C++. Each platform has native code interfacing with the OS [ie, Objective C for Mac and iOS, Java for Android, C/C++ for Windows, etc].” –Paul)

I’ve reached out to Microsoft for an explanation. In the meantime, it’s very clear that Mac Office 2016 version 16 is a major upgrade, and it does obviously add a lot of features that users of Office on other platforms have been enjoying.

Here’s what’s new, according to Microsoft.

Word 2016

Edit with others in real time. Thumbnails in the upper-right corner of the window show who else is working with you in a shared document. Flag icons show where others are working and you can view changes as they type. Learn more

Auto save. Changes are saved automatically for documents, worksheets, and presentations stored in the cloud, and you can see others’ updates in seconds. Need to roll back? Check the version history for a list of changes and access to earlier versions. Learn more

Quickly access your sites and groups. Quickly find presentations stored in your frequently used sites and groups in the Open menu.

Excel

Collaborative editing. Work with others at the same time in your workbook. Thumbnails in the upper-right corner of the window show who else is viewing or editing the file with you. Learn more

Auto save. Changes are saved automatically for documents, worksheets, and presentations stored in the cloud, and you can see others’ updates in seconds. Need to roll back? Check the version history for a list of changes and access to earlier versions. Learn more

More charts. Use new charts, such as funnel, sunburst and histogram, to transform your data into professional visualizations, or use the new Map chart type to transform geographic data into a map with just a few steps.

More functions. Shorten the formulas you write using the new logical functions IFS and SWITCH.

Quickly access your sites and groups. Quickly find presentations stored in your frequently used sites and groups in the Open menu.

Better support for PivotTable charts. Change your filters in a PivotTable, and the chart you created will automatically adjust to show exactly what you want.

Multi-threaded calculation. Formulas are updated faster when values are changed, because Excel uses multiple processing threads.

PowerPoint

Edit with others in real time. Thumbnails in the upper-right corner of the window show who else is working with you in a shared document. Flag icons show where others are working and you can view changes as they type. Learn more

Auto save. Changes are saved automatically for documents, worksheets, and presentations stored in the cloud, and you can see others’ updates in seconds. Need to roll back? Check the version history for a list of changes and access to earlier versions. Learn more

See what’s changed. Slides that have been modified by others while you were away are highlighted. Learn more

A quick start to your research. Starting from scratch is hard. QuickStarter automatically creates an outline for your topic of choice with suggested talking points and designs that make your presentation pop. Learn more

Trim media. Remove unwanted content from the beginning or end of an audio or video clip. Learn more

Quickly access your sites and groups. Quickly find presentations stored in your frequently used sites and groups in the Open menu.

Laser pointer in Slide Show. Use your mouse as a laser pointer to draw attention to certain parts of your slide.

Outlook

Archive or delete with just one swipe. Save time organizing your Inbox by swiping left with two fingers across the touchpad to archive an email or swiping right to delete it.

Support for Google Calendar and Contacts. No need to move between apps! Manage your Google Calendar and Contacts without leaving Outlook.

I’m traveling, so I’m sans MacBook, but I’ll look at this update when I get home.

 

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