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Touch and mobile-first Microsoft Office 2016 to be available this year


Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) on Thursday revealed details of the Microsoft Office 2016 productivity suite and will be released later this year. The productivity suite in Microsoft Windows 10 will be touch optimized and was previewed along with Windows apps.microsoft-office-2016

Microsoft has promised that the productivity apps will run equally well on all platforms like PC, phone and tablets. The productivity suite described as “universal apps” will be available for free and will be pre-installed on Windows 10 phones and small tablets. The suite will include Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote and can be downloaded from the Windows Store.

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“We are hard at work for the next release of the Office desktop suite that will be called Office 2016,” said Julia White, general manager for the Office Product Management Team in a blog post.

Also Read: Microsoft integrates DirectX 12 to Windows 10, supports Unreal Engine.

White shared limited details regarding Office 2016 though she mentioned it will include compelling new experiences. She added that the functionality will be a continuation of the past versions of Office that will be “best suited” for working with a keyboard and a mouse. This indicated that Redmond has enabled both touch and physical controls for the desktop version  of the suite.

Office 2013 did bring in a few touch controls, but did not find much users. The pricing has not been announced yet and the exact release date. Microsoft declined to comment on whether the suite would exist as a standalone product or on its availability to Office 365 subscribers. However, the company mentioned to follow Office Blogs for more information in the “coming months”.

The company stated that the new version of Office for Mac will be released in the coming days while the public beta release of the yet-to-be-name suite for OS X will be available by mid-2015. The final release is expected in the second half of 2015 and Mac users will be able to upgrade to the new Mac version free of cost.

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