Almost three months after Windows 10 launched, Microsoft is now ready to bring Office 2016 out of preview and into homes and businesses everywhere. Office 2016 represents a remarkable departure for the desktop version of the software — once a standalone suite, Office is getting loads of new features that take advantage of our tendency to always be online, no matter what device we’re using. Some of the new connected features are coming straight from the Office web apps, but many have been created just for Office 2016. Either way, they’re going to make working with Office easier and more efficient than ever before.
Sway has actually been around since August, but it’s going to be a big part of the Office suite going forward. That’s a reflection of the growth of mobile and the need for attractive presentations that can be made quickly and easily — Sway is a presentation app like PowerPoint, but eschews all the in-depth features in favor of a simplified interface and a step-by-step, modular creative process. The end result is a clean presentation stocked with all the pictures, videos, charts, graphs, and even tweets you feel are fit to be stuffed in — you’ll just need to be online when you’re making and delivering the presentation to take advantage of those embedded tweets, hosted videos, and the like.
Real-Time Collaboration in Desktop Apps
You can always use Office 2016 apps offline, but you’ll be without most of the new features Microsoft is introducing today — including real-time collaboration, something brought in from the Office web apps. From the desktop apps, multiple users can edit a file at one time, and everyone can see the changes others are making. It’s nothing new for anyone familiar with Google Docs, but it’ll make for a great addition to Office.