Microsoft Office 2016 Arrives Sept. 22 - InformationWeek

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9/10/2015
06:01 PM
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Microsoft Office 2016 Arrives Sept. 22

Microsoft Office 2016 brings an alternative release plan for organizations wary of rapid software updates.

11 Windows 10 Apps For Your Upgraded PC
11 Windows 10 Apps For Your Upgraded PC
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Microsoft on Thursday confirmed that Office 2016 will be released on Sept. 22, a date identified previously from a screenshot posted to a German website.

Julia White, general manager of Office 365, said in a blog post that organizations participating in a volume licensing agreement will be able to download Office 2016 from the Volume Licensing Service Center on Oct. 1.

Microsoft customers paying for the subscription version of Office, Office 365 ProPlus, can continue to download monthly updates, referred to as the Current Branch, as usual. The next Current Branch release coincides with the Sept. 22 availability of Office 2016 and will include the same updates.

To accommodate organizations that prefer a more measured rollout of new software, Microsoft is creating an additional option for Office 365 ProPlus subscribers called Current Branch for Business (CBB). According to White, CBB conforms with the Windows 10 update model: delivering three feature updates per year alongside monthly security updates.

The first CBB build is scheduled for February 2016. It will include the features in the Sept. 22 release and security updates from the four intervening months. The next CBB release is scheduled for June 2016.

(Image: Microsoft)

(Image: Microsoft)

White said Office 365ProPlus has gained additional administrative features, including Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS), to help manage network traffic during updates, and new reports in the Office 365 admin portal detailing Office activation and usage.

IT administrators may also appreciate the extension of Information Rights Management (IRM) to Visio files, which allows Visio diagrams to be protected both online and offline.

[Check out InformationWeek's list of Office alternatives.]

Office 2016 adds support for data loss prevention and multi-factor authentication. It brings the real-time collaboration features available in Office online to the Windows Desktop version of Word 2016. It includes a new search tool called TellMe in Excel, PowerPoint, and Word that suggests application commands based on input describing what you want to do. It also gains support from Bing through a tool called Insights that surfaces contextually relevant information from the Web.

Clutter, a new Exchange feature, applies machine learning to Outlook email messages in an attempt to separate low-priority messages from important ones.

In its FY15 Q4 report, Microsoft said Office product sales declined 4% (up 1% in constant currency), a consequence of customers shifting to the cloud. The company also said that Office 365 Consumer subscribership increased by almost 3 million in the quarter to reach 15.2 million. It also said that commercial cloud revenue increased 88% (96% in constant currency).

Thomas Claburn has been writing about business and technology since 1996, for publications such as New Architect, PC Computing, InformationWeek, Salon, Wired, and Ziff Davis Smart Business. Before that, he worked in film and television, having earned a not particularly useful ... View Full Bio

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jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
9/14/2015 | 12:37:04 PM
Re: Moving Stuff Around
Completely agree on the Apple vs. Android mentality. I like my iPad, but there are limits to what I can. I feel like my Android phone is much more flexible to being tailored to how I use my device during the day.
jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
9/14/2015 | 12:35:20 PM
Re: Moving Stuff Around
I get that office 365 subscribers will have access, but will those without have to buy a subscription to get it or will there be a standalone option?

@Whoopty, In a word, yes. We will upgrade at some point, but we aren't Office 365. Our volume license is about the stand-alone desktop application.
shamika
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shamika,
User Rank: Ninja
9/13/2015 | 4:37:43 AM
Re: Moving Stuff Around
This is interesting. I would love to see these features as soon as the launch takes place. TellME feature will add more value.
jastroff
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jastroff,
User Rank: Ninja
9/12/2015 | 10:47:17 AM
Re: Moving Stuff Around
>> that's glory and the power of Android. You don't have a phone that works the way Steve Jobs said it should in an archive video. You have a phone that works the way you want it to.

 

Well said @dave. I've been involved in the PC vs Mac debate sicne, dare I say, the MAC first appeared. I've owned Macs. I like the MAC. I don't like the Apple ecosystem of "do as I say" so I prefer the Android  - let's me do what I want. 
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
9/11/2015 | 11:59:24 AM
Re: Moving Stuff Around
@Gary_El- Congrats on coming to the light side of the force. Android can seem a bit daunting at first, but the great thing is the flexibility. think about the way you want the phone to work and chances are you can make it work that way with changes to your pages and widgets. My wife and I have the same phone and the same version of Android and share all the same apps except gaming apps. I literally can't figure out how to use her phone whenever I pick it up and she can't figure out mine. We've customized them totally differently.

that's glory and the power of Android. You don't have a phone that works the way Steve Jobs said it should in an archive video. You have a phone that works the way you want it to.
jastroff
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jastroff,
User Rank: Ninja
9/11/2015 | 9:42:43 AM
Re: Moving Stuff Around
MSFT should get a medal for the amount of minor changes they can charge for. I guess for all those years they didn't catch on they are making up for now.

I still can't get my windows pw to work so I can update the dictionary, and calls to MSFT support are really a joke - 45 minutes, transfers, and cutoffs. It's got the worst phone support for paid products I've ever seen.

 
Whoopty
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Whoopty,
User Rank: Ninja
9/11/2015 | 7:18:47 AM
Re: Moving Stuff Around
Yea that sort of thing can be pretty frustrating. I wonder if they'll update the payment plan for this one too? 

I get that office 365 subscribers will have access, but will those without have to buy a subscription to get it or will there be a standalone option?
Gary_EL
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Gary_EL,
User Rank: Ninja
9/11/2015 | 1:46:18 AM
Re: Moving Stuff Around
I agree. I resent having to waste time relearning the same thing in a new package when it won't help me to do what I need to do faster, better or more completely. I'd rather devote effort to learning new things to advance my vistas. That being said, will someone please help This Old Man with his new Android cell phone?
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
9/10/2015 | 7:43:01 PM
Moving Stuff Around
Oh goodie, i get to re-learn where they put the basic features again while they add a few functions i'll seldom use and re-arrange everything in the name of user experience.

there should actually be a law that says some software isn't allowed to be updated. :)

This comment brought to you by the old man inside of me. :)
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