The Wall St Journal reports that the Office 2016 Preview for Mac is available for free

Quick link: Download it here from office.com

Microsoft states that the final version will be available in the second half of the 2015 calendar year.

  • Word offers new editing, reviewing and sharing tools
  • Excel brings a fresh user interface and better consistency with the PC version
  • PowerPoint offers new co-authoring features, comments, and the ability to compare versions of files. It also includes new animations.
  • OneNote is quickly becoming Microsoft’s “go to” note taking and productivity app.
  • Outlook includes online archive support, category list sync, display of the weather in calendar, apps for Office, and a side-by-side calendar.

In the words of Wall St Journal:

Microsoft made it up to its neglected Mac user base Thursday with a free “preview”—or public beta version—of Office 2016 for Mac. The full software suite will be available this summer for purchase or as part of Microsoft’s Office 365 monthly subscription service, but until then the company is just handing it out as a 3GB download.

It’s certainly worth trying out (at least if you don’t fear the potential bugs). The updated look and feel of Word, Excel and PowerPoint make the old Mac suite look as dated as Steven Tyler. (Outlook and OneNote are also included, though those new versions have been available separately since late last year.) Similar to the Office 2013 for Windows, all the apps now have the new ribbon menu styling and are directly integrated with Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud storage service. They also now support live collaborative editing over the Internet.

All the programs are also chock full of new features. PowerPoint has a slew of new templates and animations, Word now has threaded comments, Excel has stronger data analysis tools and Outlook a new dual-calendar view. The programs also have full support for Apple’s Retina Display and Mac OS X Yosemite’s fullscreen app mode.

Office 2016 for Mac Preview available for free
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