Microsoft has a lot of stuff under its sleeve this year and has decided to let out a few details. The Redmond-based software titan released a preview of Office 2016 and Skype for Business earlier on Tuesday, offering an early look at what's in store for this year.
Windows 10 is one of the hottest topics in tech but the related software is also getting the spotlight now. The early build of the productivity software did not include all the features the final version will carry but the company promises monthly updates during its pre-release test with new improvements.
By releasing preview of upcoming Skype and Outlook, Microsoft is testing the software's capabilities out in the wild after several months of secret analysis. The new launch is solely focused on IT professionals and developers.
Office 2016 suite is a bundle of several technical improvements that will please IT pros. Without making any changes to Macros or Add-ons, Microsoft Outlook 2016 inherits the Data Loss Protection (DLP) to Word, Excel and PowerPoint. There are new Click-to-Run deployment features that enable less traffic congestion, easy distribution of monthly updates, manage device activations in a network and more.
Microsoft's decision to keep the Macros and Add-ons helps a lot because any changes will create compatibility issues during testing. In addition, the new and improved dark theme helps visually impaired users with better readability.
Commercial Office 365 customers can sign up for Microsoft Office 2016 starting today (Tuesday).
Skype For Business
Skype for Business is undergoing an interesting transformation. The latest version of Skype is basically a replacement of Lync, a tool used by businesses for communication purposes, and boasts similar UI as the consumer version. But it offers enterprise-grade security, compliance and control to IT. The new Skype is integrated into Office, bringing important features like IM, voice and video calls, and online meetings aboard.
While the exact release date for the Office 2016 suite is yet to be announced, the final build of Skype for Business will be available in April. Users can sign up for the technical preview of Skype for Business starting today (Tuesday).