Microsoft announced on Thursday that it will be releasing its next big Office suite this year.
It’s called Office 2016, and the announcement comes on the heels of Microsoft’s big Windows 10 event on Wednesday. Microsoft has been focusing more on optimizing Office for mobile, but Office 2016 is best for desktop computers, according to Microsoft. It will be available in the second half of 2015.
“We will have more to share on Office 2016 in the coming months, but this suite will remain the comprehensive Office experience you’re long familiar with, best suited for a PC with keyboard and mouse,” wrote Julia White, general manager for Microsoft’s Office Product Management team, in a blog post.
Office for Windows 10 offers touch-optimized versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook that work great on small screen devices like your phone and tablet—all the way up 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.
These new Office apps will be pre-installed for free on 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.
Simultaneously, we are hard at work on the next release of the Office desktop suite that will be called Office 2016. (Unexpected, I know!) We will have more to share on Office 2016 in the coming months, but this suite will remain the comprehensive Office experience you’re long familiar with, best suited for a PC with keyboard and mouse. We have compelling new experiences coming as part of this Office suite–stay tuned to the Office Blog for more details. We expect to make Office 2016 generally available in the second half of 2015.
All of the new Office universal apps are designed for touch and mobile, working beautifully across devices.
Word for Windows 10 —Create and edit great looking documents with Word. Review and mark-up documents, then share your work 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 —Use Excel to create and update spreadsheets and gain new insights as you analyze data and visualize it with charts. And new touch-first controls shine in Excel, you won’t even miss your keyboard and mouse when selecting ranges of cells, formatting your pie charts or managing your workbooks.
PowerPoint for Windows 10 —Create and edit beautiful presentations with PowerPoint. Then use Presenter View to prepare and present with confidence, even use Ink Tools to annotate your slides in real time so your audience really knows what you are talking about.
OneNote for Windows 10 —Capture all your thoughts, ideas and to-do’s with the new version of OneNote. Getting things done with your friends, classmates and colleagues has never been easier with shared notebooks–now with the consistent Office ribbon experience.Outlook Mail and Outlook Calendar for Windows 10 —Crafting emails has never been easier or more powerful, with the familiar and rich capability of Microsoft Word built into the authoring experience. Simply insert tables, add pictures and use bullets and color to get your point across. Keep up with your inbox with new touch gestures that help you read, sort, flag and archive your mail.
If you’d like to see a demonstration of the Office universal apps for Windows 10 on a tablet, including differentiated experiences like the power of the pen and Insights for Office, check out this video from Office Mechanics: