MICROSOFT WANTS TO DOMINATE the world of software. That’s no secret. They’ve been trying to do this since Windows first arrived at our local computer store. But this time they might just do it with their latest Office 2016 update. How come? Because this version is one of the most productive software solutions available for employees. For years we have been promised wonderful advantages and benefits from the ‘cloud’ and Office 2016 might have actually addressed these expectations. Here’s how:
1. Real-time co-writing
Co-creation has been a hot topic for a while, but with Office 2016 collaboration is now real-time. What does that mean exactly? It means that you can work on the same document with other people in your team and see immediately the parts that they are editing. And they, in turn, will be able to see changes you make! Most importantly, this is independent of the device you are using – PC, Mac, Google phone, iPhone, or maybe even a Window’s phone (does anyone have one of those?).
2. Sharing on One Note
One Note is one of the most useful applications in the Office suite, and yet it is also one of the most underrated and underused. One Note allows users to share a note with as many people as you wish, which includes text, images, Excel sheets or even emails. This is ideal for project management.
3. Simplified document sharing
There’s now a ‘share’ button on the top right hand corner of all the applications. This makes life easier to share with anyone in your contact list, without leaving the document.
4. Smart attachments
In previous versions, attaching a document meant you had to browse your files in a separate directory. In Outlook 2016, recent documents appear in a list of documents, ready for sharing.
5. ‘Clutter’ for Outlook
Low priority emails now got to the ‘Clutter’ folder, ensuring that you focus on what’s most important first. Outlook goes even further by thinking on your behalf. If a previous email is in the Clutter folder, future emails with the same style will go there too!
6. Better document history
During collaboration and creative work, documents can change radically. Office 2016 saves previous versions, making them readily available within the history menu of each application.
7. New graph types for Excel
The graph function in Excel has always been a powerful function, but it was time for an update of the graph types. New graphs include ‘waterfall’, to follow stock market fluctuations, treemap, Pareto, histogram box, ‘whisker’ and ‘sun burst’.
8. Power Business Intelligence
Between the release of Office 2013 and 2016 Microsoft spent time and money to consolidate its business applications through acquisitions. Power BI is a powerful analytical tool added to Office 365.
Delve is also a new tool included in Office 365. It is a folder on the cloud where all documents are stored. It is accessible using any device, anywhere in the world.
10. Different licensing models.
Office 2016 is available as a subscription, even if you buy the disc version. If you buy the ‘Home Edition’ the price is US$149, including all the cloud services. For companies, several licensing models exist, making this version of Office a true ‘software-as-a-solution’.
So there you have it folks! Microsoft is back in the game with some powerfully productive software. But of course, if all this sounds complicated to learn, and you need some assistance getting your team trained up, then you know who to call!