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Anywhere Productivity – Microsoft’s Vision for Office 2016

Thought-Leadership by Jared Dion
on October 22, 2015

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Microsoft’s vision for Office 2016 is to delight customers through cloud productivity by continuing to drive the mobile first, cloud first agenda. Which begs the question, what is it about Office 2016 that creates delight?

Coauthoring (Word, PowerPoint & Excel)

Real-time coauthoring is, without question, the hallmark feature that we have all been waiting for. I know what you’re thinking, “Google has had that for a quite some time, remember the Hall and Oates commercial?” Firstly, that was a great commercial. Secondly, you’re right, but not entirely. The unique part about what Microsoft has done is they now offer coauthoring AND enterprise level controls. All the freedom to collaborate without the risk of burning your organization to the ground due to sensitive information leaks; everyone’s happy. Keep in mind, all coauthors will need to be using Office 2016 or Office Online.

Recent Items (Outlook)

Fictitious scenario:

It’s late at night…very late at night, and you just want to go to bed. Over the years you’ve acquired a cornucopia of useful documents, which have been carefully curated into a meaningful file architecture on your computer. You just finished your quarterly sales forecast that’s due in the morning. Full of relief and ready for bed, you tap on the outlook icon, open a new email, click on the attach document icon and then time stands still… where did I put that document?!?! 

We’ve all been there before, but not anymore! Now clicking on the attach document icon opens a drop down list of your most recent documents. The feature is subtle but its impact is significant. How much time do we waste digging for a recent document to attach to an email? Now we can all spend that time doing more important tasks.

Screen Recording (PowerPoint)

Prior to Office 2016, we had two options for sharing presentations:

  1. Delivering the presentation, either in person or over a conference bridge.
  2. Attaching the presentation to an email for our audience to consume at their leisure.

There’s a gap between these two options. The first provides context for the presentation, but requires a significant amount of coordination. The second is convenient, but doesn’t provide any context unless you feel like writing a novel sized email to explain all of the slides in your attached PowerPoint deck. 

Now with Office Mix, which is an add-in to PowerPoint, we can record audio, video, inking, screen recording, quizzes and more.  This new tool means we can share our presentations with context to its intended audience, via social media or a hyperlink, to view whenever is most convenient for them.

Tell Me (i.e. the new “Clippy”)

A new tool in Office 2016 assists with forgetfulness, called “Tell Me.” Type in what you’re looking for and rather than providing a dialog box with numerous hyperlinks to instructions, it elegantly shows you all possible actions in a simple drop down box instead. For instance, type in “color” and it will drop down a list of the following actions:

  • View in color
  • Ink color
  • Border color
  • Theme Colors
  • Back to color view

The tool is essentially searching the task bar and coalescing all related actions into a drop down for our convenience. No more task bar scavenger hunts; thanks Microsoft!

Availability & System Requirements

Office 2016 is available under Office 365, volume licensing, MSDN and Home Use Program.  Please keep the following requirements in mind:

  • Exchange 2010 or newer is required for Outlook 2016
  • Office 2013 stand-alone applications, including Project and Visio cannot run on the same device as Office 2016. However, Microsoft is providing a special offer for customers with Office 2016 and Office 2013 standalone applications. 

The Rest of the Story

The features showcased here are only a handful of the new productivity updates made to the Office suite of applications, which were specifically designed to work across a wide range of devices and platforms. For a more comprehensive list of features, please refer to Microsoft’s Office 2016 website and subsequent webpages for each of the Office applications.

Likewise, click the banner below and complete the form if you’d like to discuss Office 2016 with a SoftwareONE Software Portfolio Advisor.

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Related blog posts:

Topics: Cloud and BYOD, End User Computing

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