Microsoft makes Office 2016 available worldwide

By MoneyTimes

Sep 24, 2015 09:03 AM EDT

New versions of Microsoft Office apps are out.

Subscribers to Microsoft's cloud-based subscription service Office 365 may now download the new apps, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Updated versions of Outlook, OneNote, Project, Visio, and Access are also available.

The apps are the latest addition to Office 365, making team collaboration a lot easier. In the latest Word app, for example, co-authoring is provided, allowing team members to see one another's edits real-time.

Search and navigation in Outlook have also been enhanced.

"These latest innovations take another big step forward in transforming Office from a familiar set of individual productivity apps to a connected set of apps and services designed for modern working, collaboration and teamwork," Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a statement.

In facilitating collaboration and boosting productivity among teams, Microsoft has introduced Sway, an app/service that enables users to create stories that are interactive and shareable. Designed for presenting concepts quickly and easily onscreen, Sway works best for doing tutorials and interactive reports. It is available for Windows 10, iPhone, and iPad.

Also in the works is Office 365 Planner, Microsoft's project management service. It has dashboards and e-mail notifications features, allowing teams to organize their work. Users cans create projects, assign tasks, set due dates, and update the status of their work.

Planner will be built into Office 365 business subscriptions and can be previewed by first release customers next quarter.

Office 365 provides automatic updates, but for consumer and small-business subscribers, Office 2016 updates will not roll out until next month. The updates will include new app features and fixes.

The new Office suite works best on Windows 10, although it also runs on Windows 7, as well as later versions. The apps are available in 40 languages, and can be purchased by non-subscribers, for both PC's and Macs.

In keeping with its "cloud first, mobile first" approach, Microsoft has also made available versions of the Office apps for mobile devices, such as iPhones, iPads, and Android and Windows phones and tablets.

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