Together with its Windows 10 announcement, Microsoft also announced its next version of Office which will be called Microsoft Office 2016, but which will be most likely still called Office 365 for subscribers which haven't purchased stand-alone copies but subscribed to Office as a service. Over the past 12 months, Microsoft said it was reimagine the traditional Office experience for a mobile-first, cloud-first world. However, the next step in this journey is the delivery of unified touch and mobile optimized versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook for Windows 10. Microsoft Office "universal" apps on Windows 10 are said to deliver a touch and mobile-first experience across devices.
And therefore Office for Windows 10 offers touch-optimized versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook that work great on small screen devices like a Windows Phone (and most likely Android and iOS) or tablet to PCs to the Microsoft Surface Hub. They are designed from the ground up to run on Windows 10, built for touch and offer the unmistakable Office experience you know and love. As "universal” Office apps, they truly are the same app across device size, providing a consistent way for independent software vendors and developers to extend and integrate with Office apps. Office 2016 will remain the comprehensive Office experience users and customers are long familiar with, best suited for a PC with keyboard and mouse.
Word for Windows 10 allows to create and edit great looking documents. It allows to review and mark-up documents which can be then shared with others to collaborate in real time. The new Insights for Office feature (powered by Bing) in Read mode brings additional online resources like images, web references and definitions right to you in your reading experience.
Excel for Windows 10 allows to create and update spreadsheets and gain new insights as data is analyzed and visualized with charts. The new touch-first controls shine in Excel that it is said nobody won't even miss a keyboard and mouse when selecting ranges of cells, formatting your pie charts or managing your workbooks.
PowerPoint for Windows 10 allows to create and edit beautiful presentations as well as to prepare and present with confidence. Ink Tools can be used to annotate slides in real time so the audience really knows what you are talking about.
OneNote for Windows 10 is all about capturing your thoughts, ideas and to-do's. Getting things done with friends, classmates and colleagues has never been easier with shared notebooks which will then comes with the consistent Office ribbon experience.
Last but not least Outlook Mail and Outlook Calendar for Windows 10 which allows to craft E-Mails easier or more powerful, with the familiar and rich capability of Microsoft Word built into the authoring experience. Furthermore it allows to keep up with the inbox with new touch gestures that help to read, sort, flag and archive mails.
These new Office apps will be pre-installed for free on Windows Phones and small tablets running Windows 10, and available to download from the Windows Store for other devices. The Office universal apps will be available with the Windows 10 Technical Preview in the coming weeks and general availability is on track for later this year. Microsoft expects to make Office 2016 generally available in the second half of 2015. Prices weren't announced. Also no word yet if Windows RT users will also receive Office 2016 or if they left out, as with Windows 10.
Cheers ~ Arne