We’ve waited 3 years for it, and now it’s here. Welcome, Microsoft Office 2016. Queue applause.

Although you may be underwhelmed when you first open an app from Office 2016, the new features, while subtle, make a huge difference in enhancing collaboration and ease of use. Microsoft has very obviously been focusing on eliminating the physical office and creating a virtual one, where employees can effortlessly meet, work together, and communicate, while potentially being hundreds of miles away.

It’s exciting to see how technology is developing, and I’m always amazed when I encounter tech that I didn’t think possible. I felt this way a few times when working with Office 2016, and I must admit that Microsoft Office has been, and is becoming more and more, an essential tool for businesses.

Below I’ll go through a few features that stand out. Keep reading to see the big changes.

Skype In-app Integration

Now you can show coworkers documents through Skype for Business without leaving the document window itself.  With the share now button, a window opens showing your Skype for Business connections.  Choose one person or multiple people and collaborate on documents.

skype share

“Tell Me” Feature

If you’ve ever had the annoying problem of knowing what you would like to do within an application but not knowing how to navigate through the application to accomplish the task, “Tell Me” is the solution.  Type what you would like to do into the “Tell me what you want to do” field at the top of any Office 2016 application, and Tell Me will guide you through the process.

tell me

Real-time Co-authoring on Desktop Versions of Word and PowerPoint

As you collaborate with others in a document, see where others are working and view their edits as they happen. This is like Google Docs on steroids: much more secure, more feature-filled, and on your desktop.

coediting

Sway: Digital Storytelling

Sway is PowerPoint’s teenage child, much cooler but lacking depth (at least at this point).  After looking at example “Sways” and playing around with creating my own Sway, I can see where Microsoft is going with this. Sway allows you to create digital stories, which are basically PowerPoint presentations in a browser with a modern feel.  You can send a link of your latest Sway to friends or coworkers, which makes sharing Sways intuitive and easy.

On a personal level, it seems like a great way to share information about your recent vacation or an event that you attended with friends, and on a professional level, Sway could be a good tool for sharing rapidly produced presentations in an online browser format. But it’s all about pictures, pictures, and more pictures.  If there’s no visual content, it gets ugly fast.

Speaking of ugly, there are aspects of Sway that need work. If you try to import a PowerPoint into Sway, I wish you good luck. When I tried it, the Sway looked like a jigsaw puzzle where unmatching pieces had been forced together. Pictures and wording were in the wrong places and overlapping each other.

To get an idea of Sway’s possibilities, you can watch this Microsoft tutorial , and if you have an Office 365 account, just sign-in here to begin making Sways

 

 

Smart Lookup

Fact-check or explore terms in your documents with Smart Lookup. Highlight words in your document and get Bing search results right into the document environment.

smart lookup

 

Click here to see a full list of Office 2016 new features. If you are a Skybox client with our Collaborate, Engage, or Custom Cloud plans, you can upgrade to Office 2016 for free with your My Services portal.  If you can’t locate your login information for the My Services portal, contact us and we can provide that information.

If you do not have Office 365, email us at sales@skyboxinnovations.com to start collaborating better today.