Microsoft Office 2016 landed yesterday, the first update since the 2013 edition. Office 2016 is an enhancement of the apps of Microsoft Office 365, and was billed at providing simpler file sharing, easier collaboration, and enhanced cloud capacities, amongst other things. Naturally at The 848 Group we are excited- you only need glance at our website to realise how much we love the cloud. The time has come, however, to examine exactly what Microsoft has changed, tweaked, or improved, and answer the question on everyone’s lips:

Should I Upgrade to Microsoft Office 2016?

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Microsoft Office 2016 At First Glance

Visually, it doesn’t look as if much has changed in Microsoft Office. Excel has received 6 new types of graphs- and that’s the biggest change in this department! There’s a new sleek grey colour scheme, but aside from that, everything is in a similar place- so upgrading shouldn’t greatly interrupt your workflow.

Microsoft Office 2016’s New Office Assistant

[av_image src=’http://www.848.co/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/tell-me-screengrab.png’ attachment=’43718′ attachment_size=’full’ align=’center’ animation=’no-animation’ styling=” hover=” link=” target=” caption=’yes’ font_size=” appearance=’on-hover’ overlay_opacity=’0.4′ overlay_color=’#000000′ overlay_text_color=’#ffffff’]The ‘Tell me’ feature is located on the top navigation bar.[/av_image]

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As Microsoft Office 2016 has been designed with Windows 10 compatibility firmly in mind, it comes with inbuilt Cortana capacities. Don’t worry, she isn’t half as annoying as Clippy the Office Assistant (remember him?). The necessary tools of the modern office assistant have been reduced to two features: ‘Tell me’, and ‘Smart Lookup’.

Smart Lookup enables you to search the web without leaving your outlook application- which is ideal if you simply want some basic information on a topic. Clicking a link opens a web browser taking you to the webpage. To use Smart Lookup, simply highlight a word, right-click, and voila! A simple web search is performed within the window. This is also coupled with the Tell Me function, which allows you to perform tasks without hunting along the navigation for the right path- ideal for those less technically inclined. Both these features are available in Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint, and have been created with ease of use in mind. One point for Microsoft. [/av_one_half]

[av_one_half][av_image src=’http://www.848.co/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Smart-Lookup-screenshot-314×321.png’ attachment=’43719′ attachment_size=’full’ align=’center’ animation=’no-animation’ styling=” hover=” link=” target=” caption=’yes’ font_size=” appearance=’on-hover’ overlay_opacity=’0.6′ overlay_color=’#000000′ overlay_text_color=’#ffffff’]Using Smart Lookup on ‘The 848 Group’ reveals our Social Media Channels, and a little bit more about us.[/av_image][/av_one_half]

 

Microsoft Office 2016 Comes With Better Collaboration

[av_one_half first]With use of the cloud, you can now co-author a document with co-workers. I absolutely adore this feature, because you can see exactly what your team mates are changing or writing live- so you can get things done 10 times easier, without the constant back-and-forth of sending a document. It’s only available in Word currently, but here’s hoping it will be implemented across the board.[/av_one_half]

[av_one_half][av_image src=’http://www.848.co/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/share-screengrab.png’ attachment=’43734′ attachment_size=’full’ align=’center’ animation=’no-animation’ styling=” hover=” link=” target=” caption=’yes’ font_size=” appearance=’on-hover’ overlay_opacity=’0.6′ overlay_color=’#000000′ overlay_text_color=’#ffffff’]By clicking ‘Share’ in the top right corner of the navigation bar, you can add recipients to collaborate with.[/av_image][/av_one_half]

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Microsoft Office 2016: The parent of Outlook 2016

[av_one_half first] Outlook has received a faster live search and a better attachment system- if a file is located in your cloud network, Outlook will automatically send a link to the document, and grant the recipient permission to access, meaning you don’t have duplicate files lying around. Another feature named Clutter has been introduced, designed to learn about your email habits. By monitoring which emails you keep, open, ignore or delete, it can create a ‘low-priority’ folder, designed to literally de-clutter your inbox. Word to the wise, however- remember to check it! [/av_one_half]

[av_one_half][av_image src=’http://www.848.co/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/clutter-screengrab.png’ attachment=’43737′ attachment_size=’full’ align=’center’ animation=’no-animation’ styling=” hover=” link=” target=” caption=’yes’ font_size=” appearance=’on-hover’ overlay_opacity=’0.6′ overlay_color=’#000000′ overlay_text_color=’#ffffff’]‘Clutter’- For low priority emails.[/av_image][/av_one_half]

 

Microsoft Office 2016’s Office Sway 

[av_one_half first]Sway is a new app officially billed as a ‘digital storytelling’ experience. You can use it for a multitude of things- it’s designed to create beautifully visual narratives which can be shared or presented. I wouldn’t be surprised if it replaced PowerPoint, or became the go-to for creating brochures- it’s easy to use, fully customisable, and you can add anything from graphs to tweets to illustrate your point.[/av_one_half]

[av_one_half] [av_image src=’http://www.848.co/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Sway_logo.svg_-300×300.png’ attachment=’43752′ attachment_size=’medium’ align=’center’ animation=’no-animation’ styling=” hover=” link=” target=” caption=’yes’ font_size=” appearance=’on-hover’ overlay_opacity=’0.6′ overlay_color=’#000000′ overlay_text_color=’#ffffff’] Office Sway- new to Office 2016. [/av_image] [/av_one_half]

 

So… Should you Upgrade to Microsoft Office 2016?

I’m going to give a firm Yes to this question! The only thing lacking about Microsoft Office 2016 is the lack of change. Microsoft seem to be aiming for a ‘little and often’ method of updating. While this has its merits, I’m left a little disappointed. We like Office 2016- we just want more!