Microsoft hasn’t yet publicly talked about the next version of the Office productivity suite, but while the company remains completely tight-lipped on the subject, people familiar with the matter reveal all kinds of interesting details about this project.
New information this time comes via The Verge, which writes that Microsoft Office 16, as the upcoming version of the productivity suite could be called, might bring back the famous Clippy assistant that could lend you a hand when trying to perform specific actions.
Clippy was available in older versions of Microsoft Office, but was removed in the newest, as Microsoft tried to offer more detailed documentation that wouldn’t require a dedicated assistant.
That could change, however, in the next Office release, as an animated character could be introduced to provide answers to people looking for more information on a specific feature.
Office 16 indeed comes with an option to lend a hand to users looking for more information on a specific option, but it’s not the same old Clippy that we got in previous versions of the software.
Instead, we get a simple box that reads “Tell me what you want to do” and which is very similar to the one that’s currently available in Office Online.
Typing in a question provides you with links to features and additional information, the source adds, so the new assistant pretty much serves as a quick tool to discover all the benefits of Office 16.
This could in the end lead to Cortana integration in Office, as the company’s personal assistant is expected to debut on the desktop together with Windows 9.
At the same time, Office 16 will also come with a dark theme that was already on the table for Office 2013, but Microsoft is only now planning to introduce it.
What’s more, the traditional Office ribbon will continue to be offered, while other features will include automatic image rotation that allows the app to detect the original camera orientation and automatically place the photo in the original position, as well as improvements for the Outlook email client.
It appears that Microsoft will give customers more options in the updated Outlook app, with sync options to include a few new intervals ranging between 1 day and 14 days. The existing version has a minimum synchronization limit of 30 days.
Microsoft is yet to break the news on Office 16, but the company could disclose some of its future plans later this year, when it’s also scheduled to unveil the touch-optimized version of the app.