UPDATE: A new updated version 16.0.4229.1024 of Microsoft Office 2016 Preview is now available for download and update. To update to the new version, go to File -> Account page and click on Update Options -> Update Now.
Finally Microsoft has released a free preview of its upcoming Office suite i.e. Office 2016 to public.
Previously this free preview was referred as “IT Pro and Developer Preview” and was only available to business, commercial customers, IT pros and developers. Also an “Office 365 ProPlus” subscription was required to download the free preview.
But now its open to public so everyone can download and install the free preview of Office 2016.
Things to Know Before Installing Office 2016 Preview:
1. Since its just an early preview version, it doesn’t contain all the features which will be available in the final version of Office 2016. But Microsoft will keep adding new features to this preview version through monthly updates.
2. According to Microsoft, this preview will NOT run side-by-side with any previously installed Office version. So you’ll need to uninstall existing Office suite from your system before installing this free Preview of Office 2016. Although we were able to install Office 2016 Preview side-by-side with Office 2013 and we can run both versions (2013 as well as 2016) of all Office programs at the same time. I think if you installed previous Office version using Click-To-Run (C2R) installer, you can’t install Office 2016 side-by-side. But if you installed previous Office version using offline ISO image or setup disc, you’ll be able to install Office 2016 side-by-side with it.
New Features in Office 2016:
Check out our exclusive review of Office 2016 containing details of new features and changes with screenshots:
Microsoft at Office blog has also provided a list of new features and functionality which you’ll see in Office 2016 preview:
- Addition of new dark and colorful themes (that will really make all people happy [link])
- Create, open, edit and save Office files in the cloud from your desktop
- Real-time co-authoring
- Tell Me – a new search tool in Word, PowerPoint and Excel
- Clutter – a new Exchange feature in Outlook
- Insights – powered by Bing to find contextual information from the web
- Improvement in keyboard accessibility for high-value Excel features like PivotTables and Slicers
- Fixed readability issues in Outlook
Following improvements have been made to Outlook 2016:
- RPC-based sync replaced by new MAPI-HTTP protocol to support Exchange/Outlook connectivity
- Use of foreground network calls eliminated to make Outlook more responsive on unreliable networks
- Support for multi-factor authentication through integration with Active Directory Authentication Library (ADAL)
- Improvements in email delivery performance such as downloading messages, displaying message list and showing new emails after resuming from hibernation
- New settings to better manage disk storage by only retaining 1, 3, 7, 14 or 30 days of mail on the device
- Improvements in reliability, performance and usability of Outlook search
- Integration of FAST-based search engine in Exchange
Office 365 subscribers will get new deployment features as following:
- Better network traffic management with the help of new Background Intelligence Transfer Service (BITS)
- Better integration with System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) to allow admins to efficiently download and distribute monthly Office updates
- New options to manage the frequency of feature updates and bug fixes download
- Simplified activation management to allow admins to manage device activations across users
Data Loss Protection (DLP):
In past DLP feature was available in Microsoft Exchange, Outlook, OneDrive for Business and SharePoint only. Now the same feature has been implemented in Word, Excel and PowerPoint programs of Office 2016. With the help of DLP, you can create, manage and enforce polices for content authoring and document sharing as a part of user restrictions.
Information Rights Management (IRM):
Implementation of IRM protection in Visio files to enable both online and offline protection of Visio diagrams.
How to Download Office 2016 Preview?
Office 2016 Preview is available in both 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x64) editions. You can download and install Office 2016 preview using following links:
Currently only an online installer (also known as Click-To-Run installer) is available to download and install Office 2016 Preview which downloads the required setup files to your computer at installation time. So you’ll need a working Internet connection to install Office 2016 Preview in all computers. Microsoft has not provided any standalone offline installer or ISO image files of Office 2016 Preview. May be they’ll release the offline installers or ISO files later?
After installation you’ll need to activate Office 2016 Preview. You can use following product key to activate the product:
Office 2016 Preview is available in following languages:
English, Arabic, Brazilian (Portuguese), Bulgarian, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Kazakh, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Malay, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian (Latin), Slovenian, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, and Vietnamese.
General availability (GA) of Office 2016 will start on September 22, 2015 as mentioned at following link: