Now Microsoft office updated to 2016 version,let’s get to know it.
Microsoft says its new collaborative workflow reflects how people do things now, from study groups to community centers on up to enterprise sales forces. But Microsoft’s brave new world runs best on Office 365, Microsoft’s subscription service, where everybody has the latest software that automatically updates over time. And to use all of the advanced features of Office, you must own some sort of Windows PC.
There’s no question that Office 2016 tops Google Apps, and haven’t seen anything from the free, alternative office suites that should compel you to look elsewhere. But Microsoft still struggles to answer the most basic question: Why should I upgrade? That’s a question that Microsoft could answer easily—and I’ll tell you how it can, at the end.
Before that, here’s what works, and what doesn’t, in Office 2016.
Microsoft can’t mess too much with Excel, which is the most indispensable component of Office. Entire professions essentially live on Excel as their everyday tool.
Like modern calculator apps, however, Excel must meet the needs of a disparate group of individuals: statisticians, financiers, and data scientists, to name just a few. One new feature (also available in PowerPoint and Word) stands out: a small box in the ribbon that says, ‘Tell me what to do.’
The ‘tell me’ box is essentially a search box, much like Bing. But while Bing or the Smart Lookup feature adds context around the phrase in question, the ‘tell me’ box cuts through the numerous menus and submenus. If you’d like to know how to justify a group of cells, for example, you can begin typing ‘justify a group of cells.’ Excel will begin making suggestions that change as you continue typing. You can also choose to look for help on that specific topic, or do a Smart Lookup search instead. What the ‘tell me’ box does, though, is simply to do what you tell it to.
That’s both good and bad, in my book. While ‘tell me’ takes you directly to a command, it doesn’t tell you where that command is located. So if you want to perform that command again, you’re none the wiser.
The look and feel of Excel 2016 remains largely unchanged from previous versions.
Under the hood, numbers wonks are going to find lots to like in Excel 2016, with pivot tables that can handle dates, plus new charts and graphs that emphasize business intelligence—the new watchword for Excel. Excel 2016 also adds the ability to forecast results, extrapolating revenue growth, for example, a few years down the road. You’ll also find Power Query, an Excel feature that lets you pull in “live” sources of data from databases and Web pages, or your own corporate data. I rather like a feature that allows you to write equations by hand—handy on the Surface—although the recognition algorithm is still a little wonky.
You have to write equations with a bit of care (note how Excel misinterprets the number ‘5’), but this new feature works pretty well. It learns from context, so if you keep writing it may self-correct errors.
It’s also not clear whether Microsoft was able to to fix a bug that prevented Power Queries from being updated on the older Excel 2013 by the release date. What you’ll probably be happy to find is a hefty number of preformatted templates that allow you simply to plug in numbers, rather than creating a template from scratch.
Note that Excel (and PowerPoint) use staggered, turn-by-turn, quasi-real-time collaboration. I’m told, however, that changes are coming to each of these apps to enable Word’s real real-time collaboration.