Microsoft today confirmed that it will deliver the next version of its flagship office productivity suite, Office 2016, in the second half of 2015. Additionally, the firm provided additional details about the coming Office universal apps that will run on Windows 10 phones, tablets and PCs.
Office 2016 is of course the Win32/desktop version of Microsoft’s venerable software application suite. It will run on x86-based PCs as before. (No word on Office for Mac 2016, though I expect that release this year as well.)
“We are hard at work on the next release of the Office desktop suite that will be called Office 2016,” a Microsoft spokesperson said. “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. We expect to make Office 2016 generally available in the second half of 2015.”
No word yet on what’s new in Office 2016, but Microsoft says it has “compelling new experiences coming as part of this Office suite.”
You probably know that Microsoft formally revealed its Office universal apps for Windows 10 at the special media event yesterday. These apps will work on Windows 10 phones, tablets and PCs and will be functional supersets of the similar apps Microsoft released previously for iPad, iPhone and Android tablets. They are:
Word for Windows 10 will support document reviewing and mark-up and real-time collaboration. A new Insights for Office feature provides additional online resources like images, web references and definitions right to you in your reading experience (in Read mode), Microsoft says.
Excel for Windows 10 features new touch-first controls for selecting ranges of cells, formatting your pie charts or managing your workbooks without a keyboard or mouse.
PowerPoint for Windows 10 will support Ink Tools to annotate slides in real time.
OneNote for Windows 10 will be updated with the new consistent Office ribbon experience.
Outlook Mail and Outlook Calendar for Windows 10. These new apps replace the Windows 8.x Mail and Calendar apps and feature “the familiar and rich capability of Microsoft Word built into the authoring experience.”
Here’s a video preview of the new Office apps for Windows 10 featuring Ben Walters and Jeremy Chapman.