Microsoft has just announced at its Ignite conference in Chicago a new public preview of Office 2016 for Windows desktop that allows everyone to try out the productivity suite coming in the fall of 2015.
Office 2016 comes with a number of improvements over its predecessor and includes built-in cloud access to create, open, edit, and save files in the cloud straight from the desktop. Office 2016 will offer cloud access in both Modern and desktop apps, so you should be able to access your documents on any device running the new productivity software.
“In addition, new modern attachments in Outlook make it easy to attach files from OneDrive and automatically configure permission for the recipients—without leaving Outlook. All making it easier to share and collaborate on your work with others,” Microsoft says.
Microsoft worked to make collaboration better in Office 2016, so the new productivity suite now supports co-authoring in real time with users connected to Office Online. This means that users of Office 2016 and Office Online can work together on the same documents.
At the same time, Microsoft has also introduced what it calls smart applications for Office 2016, which can further extend the functionality of the new productivity suite and help you perform a number of tasks more easily.
For instance, Tell Me is a new search tool that works in Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, and provides you with commands for specific activities.
Obviously, there’s more to discover about Office 2016, and all those interested in testing the new suite are recommended to do so by downloading the free public preview available here.
Keep in mind, however, that Office 2016 is still in development right now, so bugs and some issues could still be experienced as you use it. Office 2016 is projected to launch later this year, soon after the debut of Windows 10.