Microsoft Office 2016 release date confirmed for 22 September, with key updates in Outlook and cloud computing

Clara Guibourg
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What's new in Office 2016? (Source: Getty)

Microsoft has just confirmed Office 2016 for Windows, announcing that the software will be available from 22 September.

The release isn’t entirely unexpected, as rumours have been floating around, but today Microsoft officially announced the rollout of the first new version since Office 2013 was launched nearly three years ago. These are the key features

1) Co-authoring

With the new software, Microsoft is taking big steps forward in cloud computing, The most interesting among the new features is improved real-time collaboration, making it easier for several users to work together on the same documents (if this sounds a lot like Google Docs it’s because it is).

2) New interface

The software arrives with a new colourful theme, and has a slightly more user-friendly interface.

3) New and improved Outlook

Most apps aren’t changing much, but Microsoft has given Outlook a revamp. The new Outlook will automatically sort your email into high and low priority, makes attaching recently used files a cinch and has an improved search.

Microsoft’s Julia White described the new version as a “seminal release” in a blog post today:

You won’t want to wait to deploy to your users, and thanks to the many new IT management enhancements, you don’t need to wait.

Mac users feeling left out? Take heart: Microsoft hasn’t updated its software package for Mac since 2010, but Office 2016 for Mac is coming. Already available through a subscription to Office 365, it’ll be released as a standalone product in late September.

Office 2016 for Windows has been available via public preview since May.

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