Saturday, 24 January 2015

What to expect in the next version of Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office is the software package which provides people around the world with the most popular word processor, spreadsheet software, presentation software, and email client.

Some of the features that are going to be included in the next version of Office (probably to be named Office 2016) were announced at Microsoft’s Windows 10 event during January.

The new version of PowerPoint on Windows Phone
Although Microsoft Office is currently available on Windows Phone, it lacks functionality and can be very slow; Microsoft hopes to change that with an updated version of the Microsoft Office apps. The update will allow you to do anything on your smartphone that you can do on your computer as the tabs ‘review’, ‘file’ and ‘format’ are available amongst others. The mobile user interface - which they gave the press and developers a sneak peek of in January - even looked like the familiar Microsoft Office 2013. Office for mobile will also support cloud printing.

On mobile, you will be able to view and edit Microsoft Word documents either in a page view – which shows how the document will look when printed, or a mobile view - which optimises the document so it is easier to view on smartphones.

Outlook in Office 2016
Word in Office 2016

PowerPoint will include sophisticated new animations and be able to wirelessly cast to screens. Outlook Mail has had a full redesign as well and Word is integrated for rich email formatting. Like what you can currently do on the Gmail app or the Apple Mail app, Outlook now lets you slide right on emails to flag them or slide them left to delete.

Apart from the mobile version and the desktop version, the next version of Office will also have a touch optimised version for tablets and convertibles. This looks very similar to the version of Office available for iPad.

Sadly, Microsoft doesn’t seem have a problem with a PC having two versions of Office installed; one for desktop and one for touch. I suppose they’ve done it for years like that with OneNote on Windows 8 which comes included both in Microsoft Office and also as Windows Store app.

Overall, Microsoft looks like it is continuing to do what it does best by maintaining Office’s status as the best software package for your office needs however they need to address the issue of multiple versions of the same software on one device.