Microsoft Office is a big part of business. The company’s Office was first launched in 1990. And Microsoft has consistently delivered improved versions of the Office suite for homes and businesses for over 25 years. Almost every Windows-based computer has a local installation of Word, Excel or PowerPoint.

Today, a world without digital presentations, word processing, and spreadsheets is hard to imagine. But how people work continues to change every year. The rise of mobile and cloud services has changed work habits as we know it.

There is now a lot more emphasis on collaborative efforts to achieve more in less time. Working smarter not harder. And office 2016 is designed to make sharing easier across all your devices.

Office 2016 is the productivity platform for any device

The new Office is more than a set of applications on your computer. In a blog post, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella noted that “productivity requires a rich service spanning all your work and work artifacts (documents, communications, and business process events and tasks). It is no longer bound to any single application. It’s a service that leverages the cumulative intelligence and knowledge you and your organization need to drive productivity.”

What has changed and why it matters for your business

It’s the changes you expect and more. The good news for Office users is that the interface is familiar. Microsoft Office 2016 is visually similar to its predecessor. You won’t have to spend a lot of time getting used to it. I can attest to this because I had the chance to participate in a demo recently.

Work continues and gets even better after an upgrade. Menus and buttons layouts remains where they have always been. Your employees don’t need time off to get training to use Office 2016.

The default theme is very similar to Office 2013. But Office 2016 comes with three themes to choose from: the default colourful theme, a high-contrast dark gray theme, and a classic white theme. Each application has its own colours. You can also customise how the applications look so they feel more personal.

Collaboration, mobility and leveraging the cloud

Microsoft Office 2016 is a huge step forward. Office 2016 suite is now available for home and office use. And for millions of businesses around the world, work will be a lot better as a team (check out the latest features on Office 365). You can also work faster and complete your tasks anywhere.

The focus on collaboration, mobility, leveraging the cloud, and integrating real-time feedback allows you to get everything done on any device, from any location.

Office 2016 is designed to work seamlessly with new productivity solutions like OneDrive, Sway, Wunderlist, Outlook, Skype, Yammer and Delve.

Features that can help you communicate, collaborate and create better

Communication and collaboration are now more important than ever for the survival of any business. Millions of business Professionals in different time zones work on different devices, in different apps to achieve a common goal.

1. Real time co-authoring

The ability to collaborate in real-time on a document has changed how people work. You don’t have to be in the same office to work on business documents. If you are familiar with document collaboration, you will love this feature in Office 2016.

What’s even better is the integration of Skype for Business right into each application. You don’t have to launch a new application to start a video call. You can instant message, call or video chat with co-workers whilst working on a document without having to save and share it via email.

2. Sway makes presentations better

Sway is online alternative to PowerPoint presentations with even better features. You can drag and drop photos, videos and files from YouTube, your computer, Facebook, Twitter or OneDrive onto the app on your web browser or mobile app. And you can integrate interactive media directly, from ideas and pictures to Tweets, embed codes, and charts.

3. Tell Me is your search assistant

This feature sits on the upper right corner of every application of Office 2016. Tell Me lets you simply search for the feature or task you’re looking for and it brings the option up for you in no time.

If you’re struggling to find how to insert an image, just start typing in your question, “how do I insert an image” or something equally related, and options will be narrowed down to help you find your answer.

4. Outlook 2016 Modern Attachments 

File attachment just got better. In Outlook 2016 you can easily attach documents from the Insert tab. When you attach a file to an e-mail, Outlook will give you a list of the files you’ve most recently worked on or accessed. You can then decide whether recipients read it or edit it.

5. Delve repository

This feature is available for enterprise Office clients. Delve is a hub for all Office documents and creations. Instead of searching through thousands of emails in your inbox, you can now access your company’s Delve repository for content you have worked on the past. You can organise each item based on subject matter, content type and date.

6. Clutter for Outlook

Clutter helps to filter low-priority email, saving time for your most important messages. Once you turn it on, Clutter is automatic. As new email comes in, it takes messages you’re most likely to ignore and puts them into the ‘Clutter’ folder. The more you use it, the better it gets. And if you find Clutter isn’t for you, you can turn it off.

Clutter sends you a weekly digest that tells you exactly what was hidden, in case you are worried you will miss something important.

How to get Office 2016

Office 2016 is available in stores and online. Office 365 subscribers can download Office 2016 today as part of their subscriptions. Microsoft’s preferred method is an Office 365 subscription plan.

The retail packaged Home & Business and Professional versions are available now.

*Disclosure: Microsoft has a client relationship with  ALLTOPSTARTUPS.COM