Microsoft is making available a free downloadable preview of the highly anticipated Office 2016 for Mac. For many Mac users such as myself this is great news, as the current Office 2011 version is really feeling dated and ready for a refresh.
Office 2016 for Mac sees a redesigned interface that is optimised for retina based interfaces, and also introduces new collaboration and Cloud integration functionality with tie-ins to Office 365 and OneDrive.
In the top right hand corner of the Office applications is a smiley face which provides you with the ability to give feedback on what you like and what you don’t. This is a nice, easy to use feature – hopefully there is someone at the end taking note of all the feedback.
Many of the features that Office for Windows users have enjoyed sometime (eg: more functions in Excel, better user interface and ribbon bar) have finally found their way into this version of Office for Mac. I particulatly like the new and improved method of collaborating and sharing a document with your colleagues, allowing for threaded comments and the ability for users with access to the document to make changes to the styles. In an age where remote and collabertive working is on the increase this functionality will no doubt prove useful.
The good news is that Microsoft have made this preview version of Office 2016 for Mac free to download and use, though you should be aware that it is time limited, and you will have to update your preview version semi-regualrly until it is finally released, sometime in the second half of 2015. At that point you will have to purchase a copy, or subscribe to one of Microsoft’s Office 365 plans. I personally will be purchasing the Home plan (up to 5 computers) as this seems to offer decent bang for buck, and comes with 5 user x 1TBs worth of Cloud storage, and 60 minutes per month of Skype credit. I’m quite onboard now with the subscription method of consuming software, as I also subscribe to Adobe’s Creative Cloud software, I like the idea of always having access to the latest versions of the application(s) without costly upgrade paths.
Try it out and let us know what you think in the comments below. Was it worth the wait?
Click here for Microsoft’s Office 2016 for Mac preview download link.