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Office 2016 Public Preview Now Available

4 May 2014

Back in March, Microsoft introduced an IT Pro and Developer Preview for the Office 2016 release and now they are releasing a version for the broader public. From 4 May (US time), the Office 2016 Preview has been expanded, making it available to Office users everywhere in preparation for general availability later in the year.

Not only will Office 2016 previewers will get an early look at the next release of Office on Windows desktop, users may provide interactive feedback which could shape the final version.

For our Excel readers in particular, Microsoft’s intention is that the apps will learn as you work, taking advantage of subtle cues and clues to help you stay on task and get more out of Office. On such app is Tell Me, a new search tool available in Excel (as well as Word and PowerPoint), which serves up the commands you need by simply typing what you want to do (it has been emphasised that Clippy is NOT returning!!)

Other additions intend to make data analysis faster and easier with new capabilities built into Excel to pull, map, analyse and visualise more simply and quicker. New capabilities include:

  • One-click forecasting: Create forecasts on your data series with one click to display future trends
  • Intuitive data connecting and shaping capabilities: With integrated Power Query, all data may be centralised, shaped and combined to fit business needs providing insights quickly
  • Easy data modeling and powerful analysis: Power Pivot continues to be improved, to perform deeper analysis with high speed
  • Publish to Microsoft Power BI Preview: Workbooks may be readily published between users of Power BI
  • New modern charts and graphs: Now including Box & Whisker, Histogram & Pareto, Sunburst, TreeMap and Waterfall to present data in ways so often required by business but not previously available in Excel.

Further, Office 2016 will offer new security, compliance, and deployment features, giving organisations more control over sensitive data and IT more flexibility in deployment and management, including Data Loss Protection (DLP). DLP is now available in Excel, PowerPoint and Word, so that IT departments may centrally create, manage and enforce policies for content authoring and document sharing. End users will see policy tips or sharing restrictions when the apps detect a potential policy violation.

If Office 2016 Preview sounds of interest to you, it may be downloaded from here . It should be noted that the Preview is still a work in progress and not all of the features expected to ship in the final release will be available for use now. However, new features will be added every month via regular updates.

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