Following the launch of Office 2016 for Mac earlier this year, Microsoft will being rolling out the release version of Office 2016 for Windows on September 22, starting with Office 365 ProPlus users who are on the “Current Branch”. This is exactly in line with a leaked internal document last month where the date was already revealed.
Volume License customers will be able to download their versions starting on October 1st. Microsoft is also announcing a new update scheme for businesses which will more closely resemble the Service Pack update model of previous versions, with three major cumulative updates coming yearly, allowing IT departments to test new versions prior to deployment.
The Public Preview for Office 2016 has been out for months now, with over a million users having tested it. The new versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Access, and Publisher all come fully touch enabled and full of new features. The most exciting new feature being talked about is the real-time collaboration that Word is gaining, which will bring the killer feature from Google Apps to Office. In addition, Excel will gain the ability to convert handwriting directly into equations, further offering a boost in efficiency for Office users.
The progress that Office 2016 has made has been well documented, and has even been out for Mac for more than three months, however this is still a major milestone for Microsoft, given its position as the leading developer of productivity-oriented software.